Featured

Welcome to Pearls and Vodka…


We appreciate that you took the time to come by and visit our site.  With all the content available at your fingertips today, we hope that at Pearls and Vodka you will be able to take part in a community of voices that strives to respectfully present different viewpoints and opinions on topics ranging from politics, to news, to worthy causes, to Broadway, to Hollywood, from places like Wrigley Field to inside the Staples Center.  This website will cover a variety of topics and provide a variety of voices to all things relevant.

So why the name, Pearls and Vodka?

This website is owned and operated by a southern girl who lives by the famous words of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, “Pearls are always appropriate!”  It has been said before, “If you give a girl pearls, she can conquer the world.”  And the vision of this site is to conquer the world together, piece by piece.

You may not know the story behind how pearls are made, but it’s actually a parasite that enters an oyster, mussel or clam and their defense mechanism is to form a fluid that coats the irritant.  After many layers are coated, a pearl is formed.  There are typically three types of pearls that are placed on strands to be worn-the everyday wear quality, the special occasion quality and the heirloom quality.  With each level of quality comes a new perspective.  The everyday wear is not perfect; it’s flaws though cannot typically be seen from a conversation distance.  Sound familiar?  The world of social media has built a society where we have two lives, the one we display online and the one we live in-person.  The special occasion quality requires a hands-on examination to see the flaws.  I’m sure in your life today you can think of your circles and how you let some in, and you keep some at arm’s length for fear if they really knew you or your thoughts it might change their opinion of you.  And finally, the heirloom quality.  Only a trained pearl professional will see any flaws.  This is where “your people” come in to play, “your tribe,” “your squad.”  They know you, they know the nitty-gritty…they know all the “parasites” you have that are refining inside of you to make you the highest quality of person you can be.

That explains the pearl in the name, so why vodka?  A better question is, why not?

You’ve heard the old saying “A drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.”  This website has been created to provide a voice for everyone, not just the like-minded, not just the educated, and honestly, not just the overly opinionated.  This site has been founded to allow everyone to come together and refine ourselves together through topics, trends and truths.

So please enjoy, please stop by often, please tell your friends, please share and please be respectful.

Cheers!

A Good Ol’ Fashion Bra Burning…

A few weeks ago I began asking some women around me if they thought of themselves as a feminist. I took it a step further and asked if they did, why and if they did not, why not. I asked friends of varying backgrounds, different sides of the political aisle, and even those with no idea what the aisle even means. I asked some women who are younger than me, some who are the same age as me, and some who are older than me. I asked women who are moms of kids, women who are moms of pugs, and women who can’t keep a fake plant in one piece. I asked friends from down south in Arkansas, here in North Carolina, from Boston and all the way out in Los Angeles.

My point is, I asked a lot of women, I wanted all the perspectives.

Merriam-Webster defines feminism as the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; often times viewed as an organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.  The first known usage of the word was a few years ago, back in 1895. Folks that was the same year words like “cowboy boot,” and “coat hanger” came about. Point being, it’s been around a long time.

You might be wondering why I’m blogging today on feminism, and the answer is simple actually:  the ideology of feminism is something I’ve struggled with for a few years and I felt like now is as good a time as any to get acquainted with what I believe and what role I can play in today’s society.

There have been several “waves” of feminism starting back in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with the second wave coming in the 60’s and 70’s, followed by this third wave that began in the 90’s and is still rolling along today. Each wave has been marked by differing circumstances and situations.

The first wave that occurred between the 1830’s and the early 1900’s was centered around the desire of women to bring about changes to the political agenda around issues like sexual, reproductive and economic matters. The idea that was born was that women could contribute as much, if not more, than men. And I have to say, that makes a lot of sense when you stop and think about the topics discussed were occurring in the bodies of women.

The second wave came about during the 1960’s through the 1980’s. This second wave was portrayed with the strong graphic of Rosie the Riveter. This wave was focused on the workplace, and again sexuality, family and reproductive rights. A lot of folks write off this time period to the “plight of middle class white women’s problems.” That is an unfortunate misconception because during this time period women were joining movements for all equality like: Black Civil Rights, Anti-Vietnam, Chicano Rights, Asian-American Civil Rights, Gay and Lesbian Movement and so many more. It was during this movement that the infamous, “No More Miss America!” protest took place in 1969. This protest consisted of 400 feminists who tossed feminine products, pots, false eyelashes, mops and other symbolic items along the Atlantic City Boardwalk in protest to the national pageant. These items were thrown into what was called a “Freedom Trash Can,” similarly to what had been done with the “draft card burn.” This march was a protest against what they saw as “American society’s normative beauty expectations.” Thus the term “bra burning” began.

The third wave which our nation appears to still be riding today has become as varied as the women who adhere to the ideology; with ego-cultural feminists, the radicals, the liberal/reforms, the electoral, academic, eco-feminists and the list goes on and on. The wave that rolls today is intended to focus on ending violence against women in our nation, and abroad. January 21, 2017, a march was held on Washington D.C. to advocate for legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues focused on women’s rights. This demonstration was held in protest, as well, to the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Many could argue that President Trump is the “unlikely force” behind the revival of the women’s movement. Politically there are conservatives, even those with jobs in the Oval Office, who argue that this women’s movement is “pro-abortion and anti-male,” and that my friends hits the nail on the head of why I have always struggled with feminism.

I have no issue getting behind equality for all, in fact, I’m totally on board for that. I have been blessed to be raised by a mother who has worked her tail off putting herself through college and graduate school to become a licensed social worker and now a CEO of a mental health facility. I’ve seen the amazing change you can bring about by having women in executive positions. I’ve been afforded a great education my entire life in a private school, private college and now two masters programs. My life has been blessed, undoubtedly. My point is not to brag on that, though I am incredibly grateful to God and my parents, but rather to say, I was raised to believe I can and should do everything my heart desires; and that the color of my skin, the fact that I wear a bra, the fact that I am a Christian, or that I am from the south, should never stop me from pursuing everything I want in life.

When Jimmy Stewart played Mike Connor in “Philadelphia Story” he said,

There’s a magnificence in you Tracy, a magnificence that comes out of your eyes, that’s in your voice, in the way you stand there, in the way you walk. You’re lit from within, bright, bright, bright….

and with those words, the world was reminded that chivalry is not dead. I don’t know if it was growing up in the south, but the idea of chivalry is ingrained in my mind. The idea of a man with courage, honor, courtesy, justice and readiness to help the weak.

I know right now some of you reading are rolling your eyes, but it gets worse…I love for my husband to open doors for me, and I adore that he is already teaching our son to open doors for ladies and letting them walk in first. Maybe it’s the southern part of me, but I just love it. I love “yes ma’am” and “no sir.” I love when men stand from their chairs when a woman sits down, or walks in a room. I’m not hardcore about it, but I love it nonetheless.

And in the same breath, I think America is ready for a female President. Perhaps not the most recent candidate, but there’s one out there. I can think of a few off the top of my head who I think would be phenomenal. I’d burn my bra in a barrel to have Condoleezza Rice run, just saying.

I mentioned earlier that I asked my friends their stance on feminism. I found that it was far easier for my friends who do consider themselves feminist to explain why, than my friends who are not to explain why not. The ones who are, shared similar sentiments with each other: equal rights and opportunities. One thing that stuck out to me was their shock that people still view feminism so negatively, that the “archaic idea” that it’s about bra burning or just a two topic ideology, anti-abortion and anti-men. One friend said she viewed her feminism as a journey to help remove the obstacles in place for women to live the way they want to live.

As a Christian, I have seen many that I have attended church with struggle with the theology of feminism that it might be some “worldly” mentality. I have to say, I think that’s bunk.

The idea that helping women to become more educated, more self-sufficient, more productive members of society would be against the will of God seems ludicrous. The God I know and believe in created ALL people in His image and I highly doubt if I wear a bra He doesn’t want me to live my best life that he blessed me with. And I sure can’t imagine just because I am a woman He would want me not to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Now sure, I know abortion isn’t typically a kosher belief in the walls of evangelical churches. And I’m trying not to open a whole other can of worms and talk about free choice, pre-destination etc….that’s another blog, for a real scholar. But I know this, without a doubt, God loves me no matter what decisions I’ve made, or will make. I’ve not had an abortion, I’ve thankfully never been in a situation where it was considered and I don’t pretend to understand what women are going through when they’ve been raped, or anything of the sort. But I’ll say this, God loves them, He cherishes them, no matter their decision.

And please, save your “love the sinner hate the sin” rhetoric, my Jesus died on the cross for my sins NOT because of what I have done but because of who HE is.

Christian friends, do yourself a favor. Read the Bible for what it says…there are women in more parables in the Bible than I can count, women were being educated in Luke, Jesus NEVER shamed a woman when most of the world would have like the story of the woman at the well, there were women in Luke and Mark who were financiers and evangelists, and women were advocated for all the way back in Luke 7 and Mark 14. I’m just saying Church (with a big C), Jesus died for men and women alike and if He didn’t separate their rights, why should you decide you can?

We’ve unfortunately gotten to a place in society that by saying something matters, you assume the person is insinuating that something else does not matter. Like by saying “Black lives matter” that does not mean that black lives matter more than other races, or that you are anti-white. It just means they matter, because they do. And being feminist does not mean you are anti-men, you just think women’s rights matter, because again, they do.

I preach this mini-sermonette today to say, I’m still not sure I would define myself as a feminist. But I do believe in equal rights for all humankind, whether you wear a bra, burn a bra, never seen a bra or even know what a bra is. And I applaud my friends who march for equality, I’m not a marcher myself-I hate crowds, but I do want to be a voice for change in our society and I believe we can all play a pivotal role.

So go burn your bras friends, and spend a grand to buy another one b/c now that is a plight for women how expensive they are, just saying!

Plaid on Plaid

When I first started dating my now-husband Arron he did not have the best fashion sense. We worked at the same company and I got a message from a mutual friend one day at work that said, “Have you seen what Arron is wearing today?” I had not at that point, but I ventured out for a stroll to see. I thought for sure my eyes were deceiving me. My handsome man sat confidently at his desk on a call wearing a plaid shirt and plaid pants, neither of which matched, as if that would have made it acceptable. All I could do was laugh, and the highlight was his confusion over what was wrong with his outfit.

I fell in love with Arron Ross Asberry because he is smart, funny (though I don’t like to give him too much credit on that), he’s the kindest person I’ve ever met in my entire life, he loves and trusts Jesus with all that he has, he cares about people so deeply with no requirements on them, he would give you the shirt off his back whether he knew you or not (though it might be plaid), and his smile lights up any room.

You see we are different.

Arron is a 6’3″ cuddly, big African American man. And I’m a 5’10” (on a good day) Caucasian woman. Arron grew up in a town that doesn’t even make a dot on the map on a farm in Waldo, Arkansas. I grew up in the home of the Arkansas Razorbacks, the always growing town of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Arron is exceptionally smart in mathematics and it took me quite a few times to pass basic college algebra.

Our skin-tones do not “match.”

Though are skin-tones do not match, we were both created by the same Creator. In Heaven there was no line for the black/brown humans to be created and a separate line for the white humans to be created. The white humans were not at the front of the line and the darker skinned humans in the back of the line.

You see, we were all created equal in the eyes of God.

I’ve thought long and hard about what to say about the events in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend; along with the subsequent statements by President Trump.

Beth Moore, the popular Christian speaker/writer, tweeted on Saturday night, “We cannot renounce what we will not name. It’s called White Supremacy. And it is from hell. Call it. Condemn it.”

And I do, in the strongest terms possible, condemn the actions that transpired in Charlottesville on Friday/Saturday.

Though the organization may have acquired the legal permit to march through that city in what was alleged as a stand for a statue, what took place that day was a disgrace to this great nation and to the men and women who fought and died to defend the ideology of freedom against the tyranny of Nazism.

I can assure you if you defend the actions of those who marched that day chanting things like, “Jews will not replace us,” “Blood and soil,” “Whose streets? Our streets!” you are on the wrong side of history. Was there violence by both sides, yes. The Neo-Nazis were founded on the premise of a hatred for Jews, a love for Hitler and Nazi Germany and a deep hatred towards minorities, and homosexuals. White supremacists and their bigotry do not represent this country but they do anger a lot of people, and honestly, rightfully so-though violence is never the answer.

I was disgusted by the statement Donald Trump made on Saturday, focusing rather on “many sides” than calling out the hateful acts of domestic terrorism. I felt like the statements he made yesterday in NYC were deplorable, at best. His rant inside Trump Towers yesterday during a press briefing on infrastructure were a recanting of his comments on Monday when he finally condemned the KKK, Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists. Which only leaves us as Americans to assume he does not condemn them or their actions. And I truly wish I was wrong about that.

It is not a matter of semantics however, it’s a matter of what is right and wrong. This is not a political issue, it’s a moral issue.

Racism is a personal issue to me. My little boy is the biggest blessing the Lord has given to us. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s adorable and has the best hair. All that being said, his cute little smile with big dimples reside on the face of a little boy who is biracial. He deserves all the wonderful things that life can afford him. He has his Daddy’s sweet spirit and would never be able to process someone hating him just because of his skin color, just like his Daddy.

President Trump, do the right thing.

Stop promoting the hate with your silence and wavering on taking a stand. Once and for all, condemn racism and evil acts of domestic terrorism associated with it and never look back. Do not accept the support of men like David Duke. Denounce the KKK, the Neo-Nazis, and the White Supremacists. There is a special place in hell for those who do harm and wish harm on others for their differences. There is no position in this world, President or not, that warrants accepting their support.

And to my fellow citizens, help me create a safer, more accepting, more loving country for my little boy to grow up in. Help me raise this next generation to not see differences in skin-tones as a negative, but a beautiful “non-matching” pattern created by a loving God. Condemn racism with me.

Above all, love your neighbor as yourself.

And one last thing, as a personal plea: pray for those of us who’s families “do not match.” Life can be scary sometimes, even in the greatest of nations.

 

 

Mandy from the Middle

Charles Wheelan wrote in his book, THE CENTRIST MANIFESTO, “We need an insurgency of the rational: a generation of Americans who are fed up with the current political system, who believe we can do better, and most important, who are ready to do something about it. Are you one of those people?”

I’ve been asking myself since November of last year if I am one of those people.

I wrote an article for my blog on November 9th, 2016 about casting my vote for Donald J. Trump for President of the United States of America. I received the expected backlash, and occasional praise for my voting decision and my decision to publish my vote. I started that blog post by talking about how much I love this country. Nothing about that has changed. I still stand behind the vote I cast on that day. Do I wish things had gone differently? Yes. Do I wish there would have been another candidate? Yes.  Do I wholeheartedly stand behind everything President Trump has done? No. Do I still respect “the office?” Yes, that is how I was raised. Am I still proud of my friends who are working the Administration? Yes, I know their hearts and I believe in them.

But do I find myself looking for something outside of the Party I have grown up supporting my entire life? Yes. Am I becoming a Democrat? Absolutely not.

This blog post has actually been several months in the making. In fact, I’ve chosen to remain silent on my blog for a few months now. But in the words of President Theodore Roosevelt, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” I’m not in any way implying that what will come out of this blog today will be my proclamation of “the right thing.” I am simply choosing to take the time to put out there what is right for me, today, and a little bit of the reason behind why. I reserve the right to come back later and say that my ideology has continued to grow and evolve, and that the more I learn the more I change. I hope that I am able to come back and say that actually.

So what does all of this mean? Glad you asked.

For me, this means after 34 years of calling myself a Republican, I’m not sure I can anymore. I cannot in any way call myself a Democrat either however, so please, my friends on the Left, hold your applause. You might be from the Left, or the Right, but today, “I’m Mandy from the Middle” it’s a pleasure to meet you and I hope you’ll hear me out and attempt to see my heart.

Recently I read Charles Wheelan’s book, THE CENTRIST MANIFESTO (quoted at the beginning), and it completely changed my point of view. Not in a “drinking the Kool-Aid” way, but in a “there has to be a better way,” way. From reading Mr. Wheelan’s book I was introduced to his organization, “The Centrist Project.” I’ve not become a “founding member,” yet, but I am doing a lot of research into their work and their philosophy and from what I’ve seen so far, I like it. While I’m at it, let me give them a plug, check them out at www.centristproject.org/. It might not be for you, but then again, it might. If nothing else, I hope it spurs you to think more about what you believe, why, and what you are doing about it. It certainly has for me.

On their website you will see their tenant, “A centrist is someone who seeks the best ideas to solve problems, regardless of where they come from on the political spectrum.” I can unequivocally say, today, that is where I am in my life.

I am no longer interested in promoting a “party” platform.  I’m more interested in promoting my country.  I believe wholeheartedly if we do not start focusing on our long-term interests we will be leaving a heap of a disaster for our children. I believe in seeking out the truth, not the campaign rhetoric, in making mindful decisions about the questions we face.  I believe we MUST, and I declare MUST, find a common ground where we can still fight for our beliefs while understanding those who see things differently.  These statements that are true to my life fall right in line with the principles of “The Centrist Project.”

They are not focused on forming another “party” and I love that. The last thing we need in this country is another party. If you disagree, please remember, partisan politics elected Donald Trump. And some of you are still OK with that, and that’s fine. But I think there’s a lot of you out there that are not OK with that, and that is fine also.  The only thing that is not fine, is doing nothing.

For me, I’m more concerned today with finding solutions that involve everyone. Solutions that better everyone. And solutions that protect everyone. I believe finding those solutions requires folks from all walks of life, all nationalities, all religions, all sexual orientations, all socioeconomic classes and all parts of the country. If we continue down the path of Left and Right, we will just continue to perpetuate the same chaos we see today.

So why am I writing this today? Glad you asked.

I cannot, in good conscience, sit by idly and not say a word about the Republican Bill on Healthcare.

I believe there are issues with the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare.  But this Bill that has been introduced is not the solution. This Bill is however, a perfect example of why I can no longer get behind the “Two-Party System” that has divided our Nation.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act, AKA BCRA, does not do what the Republicans are trying to shove through the vote. The BCRA touts that it will “stabilize the collapsing insurance markets that have left millions of Americans with few options.” While I agree the ACA has damaged our insurance market, I do not believe the BCRA will stabilize anything.  By repealing essential health benefits like mental health care all we are doing is crippling an already wounded nation.  The BCRA will leave the children on Medicaid waivers defined as a “non-mandatory population,” how can this even be? There are thousands and thousands of children who rely daily on those services. The plan shows a cut of over 800 BILLION federal dollars in Medicaid care that they expect states to just come up with. Seriously?

I just can’t do it anymore. I just can’t stand by without exercising my freedom of speech to beg, to IMPLORE, my Representatives and Senators to vote NO on BCRA. Instead, vote YES on America. Vote YES on our children. Vote YES on those who cannot help themselves.

Earlier I shared that I have been pondering since November if I am one of those people who is fed up and ready to exercise my common sense, my rational side, and work to do better. The answer is YES. Sure, I still lean RIGHT, but more than anything I want to lean in the direction that will create a better place for my little boy to grow up and that means working together, LEFT, RIGHT, MIDDLE, even the “OUT THERE” to do what is right. I am fed up with the current political system, I know we can do better.

Congressman Rouzer and Senator Tillis, you will be hearing from me.

Sincerely,

Mandy from the Middle

Capture

 

Equality for ALL

The African American, Feminist poet, Audre Lorde once said, “It is not our differences that divide us.  It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”  I’m not sure that many of my political beliefs would align with Ms. Lorde’s words, if she were alive today, but this is one theory she left behind that I can agree with.

Several people have messaged me since Friday asking why I’ve not posted much in regards to the Inauguration, post Inaugural events and the Women’s March on Saturday.

Honestly, I’ve just been busy being a working wife and mother.  But I have been processing a lot and reading a lot as time has allowed.  And I decided to take the time to sit down and blog a little this afternoon about some of my thoughts and feelings.  And I thankfully have a supportive husband who encourages me to follow my passions of writing and learning.
As always, my prayer is that my words will be respectful and that my tone will be one of acceptance and a desire to learn and grow.

So here goes…

I enjoyed watching the Inauguration, and no, not because the man I voted for was being sworn in.  I love America, down to my core, and in that, the peaceful transfer of power is a pillar of our democracy and I always enjoy the pomp and circumstance.  I enjoyed Friday’s ceremonies just as I have on two occasions during the past eight years.  As for the speech, I thought it was very reminiscent of Mr. Trump’s campaign speeches so the consistency was definitely there.

As for the post Inaugural events, just on a superficial note, Ivanka Trump’s ball gown was absolutely stunning.  I definitely have a friend crush on her!

But alas, I really was disappointed in a lot of what I saw from my country.

I saw a meme on Facebook that I thought said it well, “Rosa Parks took a seat on a bus, she didn’t destroy the bus.”  Protesting is one thing, looting and violence is wrong on so many levels and I detest those acts.  I will never understand.  I didn’t understand in Ferguson, Missouri, when I watched a young man being interviewed after he burned down a store.  The reporter asked why and he said “we are just burning everything down in our way.”  It turned out the store belonged to his grandparents and being so caught up in the moment he couldn’t careless the harm and pain he was causing his own family, not even the people he opposed.  Friday afternoon, I watched video of park benches being burned in the town I used to call home, our nation’s capital, bricks being hurled at police officers, one man being sucker punched while giving an interview, and windows being broken out of businesses in the area.  That behavior is just disgusting to me and quite honestly, just completely ignorant.

If you have to cover your face, as to not be recognized while carrying out an act, you are most likely in the wrong.

On Inauguration night, I was also disgusted to read about Katie Rich’s tweet.  Ms. Rich is/was a writer on Saturday Night Live.  I’m not sure of her status today, as her name was removed from their writers credits on last night’s episode.  Ms. Rich felt the need to post the picture of 10 year old Barron Trump and insinuate that he would become “the country’s first home school shooter.”

While her comment itself was deplorable, and ignorant as he is not home schooled, I just had to know more about this woman who felt the need to attack a young, innocent boy.  Politics aside, children are off limits.  I was disgusted with how people mocked Chelsea Clinton during her White House days, I was appalled that people attacked the Bush twins for acting like a large majority of other kids their age, and I was proud to see our nation back off the Obama girls and impressed with how well their parents were able to protect them.

But what I found when I looked into who Ms. Rich really is amazed me even more.

In 2015, Katie Rich married Devlin Murdock who is actually the programs director for a rowing club for breast cancer survivors called, Recovery on Water.  So she is married to man who devotes his professional life to helping others make their lives better, while she is busy publicly insulting a young boy.

And here’s where I was blown away, in a speech at PeaceLove in May 2015, Ms. Rich revealed that she suffers from anxiety and panic disorder.  Really?

I was absolutely floored to learn that someone who suffers from anxiety and panic disorder would have the audacity to call someone out for acting a little different in an enormously public setting.  Let alone that he is a CHILD.

I too suffer from generalized anxiety and panic disorder.  It sucks.  It is a very hard battle to fight.  It is exhausting, draining and incredibly hard to deal with most of the time.  But as someone who is in the throes of that battle, I cannot even fathom mocking someone who shows nervousness in crowds of hundreds and thousands of people.  Are you kidding me?  I move more than a drunk walrus just sitting in meetings with 10 people.  How dare she attack someone who is fidgety!

And just for the sake of saying it, how dare ANY adult attack ANY child! It’s disgusting.  I feel the need to interject here I’m sure some of you will comment on Mr. Trump’s previous inappropriate statements.  There’s a huge difference here and I won’t waste my energy helping you see that. And no, that doesn’t take away from the fact that he was vulgar and wrong for what he has said.

Finally, several folks have asked me my thoughts on the March yesterday.

I stand with what President Trump said when he was asked the same question, “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy.  Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

So what else do I think about the March yesterday?

First,  for the most part I was very proud of my friends who marched all over the world yesterday from New York, to D.C., to Little Rock and LA.

Sure there were some folks I’d consider to be “wackadoodles” but in every crowd that size, you are bound to have a few. The folks I know personally that marched, for the most part, marched for equality, and women’s rights.

Sure I had the friends who hash-tagged their way through the day talking about their stance against President Trump, and you know, that’s fine too.

I loved seeing some friends in Arkansas who took their young daughter to walk in Little Rock.  She believes that love trumps hate and she wanted to walk for that.  That’s good parenting to me.  Teach a child to develop their own belief system and to defend it.  That’s how we will change history.

I can’t really get behind the vagina hats that were worn, just seems distasteful to me.  And I can’t get behind any speeches that were filled with hate, or terroristic threatening.  Madonna spoke about her thoughts on doing harm to the White House.  I will not ever condone such rhetoric and believe she should be treated as we treat others who display terroristic threats.  Free speech is one thing, but threatening lives is another.  The White House is a building that houses not only a family but staffers.  Those staffers are innocent people doing their jobs to make ends meet and they are also there to stand for what they believe.  How hypocritical to wish harm on them because you disagree?

On the Women’s March website their mission and vision is said to be, “We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for their protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families-recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”  The mission goes on to say the organization felt the rhetoric of the past election cycle had “insulted, demonized and threatened many.”  They also published five guiding principles:  nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people (Madonna missed that one I guess), the beloved community is the framework of the future, attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil (guess Madonna missed that one too), accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve the goal (maybe she didn’t read any of what the March was even about) and finally avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence (nope, she didn’t read a thing).

The slogan behind the March was, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”  They were said to be marching yesterday in the name of ending violence (minus Madonna), reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, and environmental justice.

I think our nation is struggling today, maybe more so than ever, with believing we should have diversity, but drawing the line at diversity of thoughts, or beliefs.

I too believe in Human Rights, all humans.  Woman, man, gay, straight, black, yellow, white, wheelchair bound or marathon runner, born in smalltown USA or born in a third world country.  All humans have rights.

I get that our determining factor on when life begins is where we differ, for me it is at conception.  For others it’s when they enter the world.  And because of that difference, I was not a part of the March yesterday.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around being an advocate of human rights, but then on the flip side feeling that you can deny humanity to the unborn.  More and more babies are surviving today who are born as young as 22 weeks.  I just cannot resolve in my head that they don’t deserve the same rights as my now 13 month old does.  There have been more than 54 million babies aborted since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973.  That’s a lot of denied human rights in my opinion.

And I get it.  “It’s not about abortion,” “it’s about having the right to choose,” “it’s about not being told what you can and cannot do with your own body.”  I’ve heard it all, had the debates, and bought the t-shirt.  I’m not here today in my digital presence to try and convince someone otherwise, I am simply letting my voice be heard too, if you have the right to march, I have the right to blog. We are all for equality right?

I saw quite a few signs in the pictures from the March yesterday that had the same verbiage I’ve seen on some Facebook posts this week, “NOT MY PRESIDENT.”  I mean I will skip over the factual ignorance of that as President Trump is actually the President of the United States, whether you voted for him or not.  But I guess I have a hard time reconciling the Christians I see posting that.  Romans 13:1-2 is pretty clear, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves.”

I don’t bring this up to say that Donald Trump is a good replica of high Christian character.  I too detest the vulgar comments he has made.  Just like I detested the immoral sexual acts that President Bill Clinton committed outside the vows of his marriage.  And honestly, just like I detest my own sin.  I bring this up to say, God is God, He is still on His throne today just as he was before noon on Friday.  He is not shaken by our election results, He is not confused, He is not disheartened because He knows the end of the story.  He knows who wins.

And yes, actually I would have still been writing this if Secretary Clinton had won.  She too has some baggage, just like you and just like me.  That’s the point.  No one is perfect.  But we can rest in the knowledge that God is in control.

My name is Amanda, the name Amanda means “lovable and capable.”  Some of you find the first part to be hard to believe, but there are some who love me.  If you know me at all, you know the second part is true.  I am capable of doing a lot of things, even if it is just making you mad with my blog.   I work very hard to make sure I am capable of doing more than the day before.  My parents saw fit to name me Amanda because they knew I would be capable of doing something great with my life and that’s exactly what I work every day to do.

I did not march yesterday because my belief system did not align with the entirety of the mission of the organization, and I honestly didn’t march yesterday because I do not feel personally attacked.  My story is not everyone’s story.  I have lived a very fortunate life so far.  I’ve been raised by a woman who has worked her butt off since she was born to be more and do more and today as a CEO she has shattered the so-called “glass ceiling” of her industry.  I was raised by a man who taught me to respect and serve others with all that I have and doing something different than that was simply unacceptable.  My closest friends today, my tribe as I call them, we treat others with respect no matter their color, their faith, their sexual orientation or their socio-economic bracket.  I have chosen to surround myself with people who walk the talk.  I know my life is not the story of everyone’s life.  As a mother, I work every day to teach my son to live like Jesus lived so that other folks can have a better life as well.

In response to why she didn’t march, one of my best friends said today, “I don’t believe hearts and minds are changed by marches of large crowds, but by individual relationships and conversations.”  She went on to say, “I don’t want anyone to change because they’re giving in to pressure from a frustrated group, no matter how large.  That kind of change is rarely sincere.  I want them to change because they see the truth and want to change.”

I respect your right to march, I thank you for standing for what you believe in and I implore you to stay involved, stay plugged in, get active in your communities and STAY active, work in the midterm elections, help educate voters, continue to study, and learn, be open-minded, be compassionate even towards those who believe differently than you.

Equality for ALL.

Aleppo: The Complete Meltdown of Humanity

If you have never heard of Aleppo, you really need to start watching the news more.  I don’t mean that as an insult, but there are so many very important things going on in our world right now and so many people that very much need your prayers.

A little background though for you, in case you are behind…

Aleppo is a city in Syria that is known to serve the populous Syrian government.  For centuries now, Aleppo has been the largest city in Syria and just following Constantinople and Cairo as the third-largest in the Ottoman Empire.  This all began to change with the Syrian Civil War that began in 2011.  It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.  It has always been a main strategic location as a trading center between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).  Aleppo’s historical context is that it is a city on one end of the Silk Road, which was the ancient network of trade routes connecting the East and West, from the Mediterranean Sea to China.

The Battle of Aleppo began in 2012 and the city has suffered massive destruction and to date, is the worst-hit city in the Syrian Civil War.  The battle has been marked by the Syrian Army’s use of “barrel bombs” which are dropped from helicopters and kill thousands of people at a time.  These bombs have been purposefully dropped on hospitals and schools by the Syrian government and their Russian allies and rebels.

Aleppo is one of the largest Christian communities in the Middle East.  It is estimated that more than 250,000 Christians live in the city, which is about 12% of their population.  [3]

Today the United Nations declared Aleppo, the “worst humanitarian tragedy of the 21st century.”  And what is crazy is the fact that most Americans have no idea what is going on there and no idea the gravity of it all.

Syrian rebels said Tuesday they reached an agreement with Russia for a cease-fire in Aleppo to evacuate remaining civilians and rebels from the bloodshed in a conflict that the U.N. is describing as a “complete meltdown of humanity.” [1]  As of the time of the announcement of the cease fire, the government forces had rounded up nearly 6,000 teenage boys and young men who were trying to escape the weeks-long assault there and have forced them into military service.

It has been confirmed and validated repeatedly that government forces are entering civilian homes and killing people.  Imagine that with me for a minute.  You are sitting in your living room tonight, probably watching TV, listening to the voices and laughter of your kids, while the Christmas lights twinkle in the background.  Now imagine soldiers rushing in your house, unannounced, not even ringing the doorbell and killing you all.

This morning alone, 20 women were confirmed suicide cases as their attempt to not be raped ended in their demise. Yesterday, 79 civilians were trying to flee the internment like camps in warehouses and were executed in the makeshift barricades.  Rubble is everywhere.  This once historic town with great museums and temples has now been reduced to rocky rubble on every corner.  Women and children can be heard crying out from under the debris for help, except in Aleppo, no help is there to be found.  On Monday alone, there was a report of tens of thousands of civilians being shot dead in one neighborhood.  There have also been reports that chemical attacks have now begun in one area of the city.

At the time of the cease fire the French President Francois Hollande said the Aleppo, “humanitarian situation…is unacceptable.”  That is such a hollow way of putting it.  What is happening in Aleppo is one of the worst humanitarian crisis our modern world has ever seen, and many have no idea it is even taking place.  Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the United Nations high commissioner for human rights said, “Civilians have paid a brutal price during this conflict, and we are filled with the deepest foreboding for those who remain in this last hellish corner of opposition-held eastern Aleppo.” [2]

Back in May it was reported that a Doctors Without Borders facility in Aleppo was hit, killing more than 50 of their staff.  In that strike, Muhammad Wassim Mo’az was killed.  He was one of the only pediatricians remaining in the city.  War correspondent Martha Gellhorn said at the time, “war happens to people, one by one.”  [4]  One surgeon on the day of the attack that killed Mo’az said, “Day by day, we are bleeding our medical staff.  We will wait for a day when there will be no more doctors inside Syria.” [4]  In 2015 it was speculated that 95% of the doctors in Aleppo had been killed or detained.  [4]

Wounded Syrian Kid Omran DaqneeshThe image of little Omran Daqneesh was spread throughout the media in August of this year.  You will remember his little face, bloodied and dirtied, just a heart-wrenching reminder of the ceaseless civil war in Aleppo.  Save the Children reported that one-third of the casualties in Aleppo have been children.  Innocent kids. The most vulnerable victims in this war.  [5]

Sarah Bessey, Christian blogger said today, “Aleppo. What is there to say? Words are inadequate, tweets are useless, status updates powerless, demands and cries disregarded. But I think if Jesus walked today, He would be in Aleppo with the suffering. I do not know what prayer will accomplish here but I am crying out for the big things anyway: miracles of peace, comfort, courage, healing, life, deliverance, all of it. How long, o Lord? Holding vigil with you, Aleppo, groaning for the new creation and the new day to dawn.” [6]

The madness that has become of Aleppo over the past few years during this battle is incomprehensible.  As Christians, as Americans, we MUST stand against this horror.  I should hope that those of you who have been wasting so much of your time and energy on conspiracy theories with the election and weeping over votes already cast, will take some time to get on your knees today to pray for those who are truly in need.  We can no longer pretend that this is not happening and that our petty, foolish gripes that have flooded social media since the Presidential election truly are wroth our time.  Today when you feel the need to gripe about hackers, your candidate losing, your candidate winning, or your so “highly educated” political opinions on Facebook…how about instead go online and donate to Save the Children who is working to get food and water to those innocent little ones left behind in Aleppo, or the International Rescue Committee  who is working to get medical supplies and mobile healthcare clinics into Aleppo, or Doctors without Borders who has lost so many of their own but are still working hard to help those in need in Aleppo.  [7]

[1] <http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/12/13/thousands-syrians-have-nowhere-safe-to-run-as-government-forces-descend-on-aleppo.html>

[2] <http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/world/middleeast/syria-aleppo-civilians.html?_r=0>

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo

[4] http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/05/syria-aleppo-pediatrician-doctors/481212/

[5] http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/aleppos-children/aleppo-s-children-omran-daqneesh-one-thousands-suffering-n635391

[6] <https://www.facebook.com/sarah.styles.bessey/posts/1366956760022386:0>

[7] http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/aleppo-boy-omran-daqneesh-five-practical-ways-help-syrias-children-under-siege-1576973

PICTURE https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/omran-daqneesh-ali-dead.jpg%3Fquality%3D85%26w%3D1012&imgrefurl=http://time.com/4465904/omran-daqneesh-aleppo-survivor/&h=665&w=1012&tbnid=WBc5shJaF-FlHM:&vet=1&tbnh=131&tbnw=200&docid=iHCiMXClgefaAM&itg=1&usg=__CpJgHn3j78qyeWhQfzwMdtSj8jE=&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiZhtjr9_HQAhXMAcAKHUKpCZQQ_B0IYzAM&ei=T1BQWNmiMsyDgAbC0qagCQ

The Bravermans, The Gilmores & The Pearsons…

***Spoiler Alert***

I won’t give away the famous “final four words” of the recent “Gilmore Girls” revival, but I will be talking about the “four seasons.”  Also, if you aren’t caught up on “This is Us,” you might not want to read ahead.  And finally…if you don’t know how “Parenthood” ended, you won’t want to read this, and seriously, where have you been, it’s been over for almost a year!?!?

Now that we have all that out of the way…

Can we go ahead and say that Jason Katims, Producer/Head-Writer of “Friday Night Lights” and Producer/Creator/Writer of “Parentood,” is a television genius?  I think what makes Katims’ writing so brilliant is the idea that he writes from his personal experiences.  Max Braveman’s character on “Parenthood” is based on Katims’ own son who also has an Asperger Syndrome diagnosis.  But what that man’s storylines did to my heart and my tear ducts has been unmatched.

What do the Bravermans mean for us?

Everything! OK, OK, I’ll keep the melodramatics to a minimum, if possible.  But honestly, what did “Parenthood” not touch on?  From the episode in 2011 when Adam and Kristina have to explain to Max that he has Aspergers, to Sarah dealing with two teen children heavily influenced by her divorce, to Crosby and Jasmine’s up and down relationship facing raising a biracial child and finally marrying, to Julia and Joel’s marital issues revolving around a working mother outside of the house, to Kristina’s cancer diagnosis and Zeek’s heart trouble, each and every storyline spoke to every single viewer, and typically with a strong emotion attached.

I think the truth of the matter is every viewer saw a portion of their life being played out on a television screen and for a moment, they were able to step out of their own issues and watch someone else walk thru them, and most importantly, survive them.  The Bravermans taught us that with a little forgiveness and a lot of love, anything can be conquered.

From the very first episode when Adam told Zeek, “Dad, there’s something wrong with my son” every parent walking through unknown challenges with their children had the opportunity to watch someone else “live it out.”  Crosby Braverman, the one who just wouldn’t grow up, finally did grew up and when he did he gave hope to every parent waiting on their adult child to “find themselves” and gave purpose to every girl out there waiting for Mr. Right to finally realize what loving someone really means.  Joel and Julia’s “perfect marriage” collapsing before viewer’s eyes and yet following Zeek’s advice, they fought for each other, they forgave, they dug in and they loved harder and each couple watching the show found a little more strength to hold on.  When a bully urinated in Max’s canteen on his first overnight school trip and he cried  out, “Is it because I’m weird?” Every parent with a child who is “different” felt every ounce of the tears Kristina shed in that backseat.  And every parent whose child fits the erroneous mold of “normal” found even more determination to teach their child the dangers of bullying.  Kristina’s battle with cancer was a journey that those who were sick walked with her and those who were caring for loved ones walked with Adam.  Watching her “farewell” video to her kids gave each viewer the reality check that tomorrow isn’t promised, say it all today, do it all today and live while you can.

The Bravermans really did mean everything to everyone, and with every tear we felt more attached and with every hug we wanted to love our families more.

“I just can’t stay in one place forever.”  Michel was explaining to Lorelai, during the A Year in the Life episode, that he needed his career to progress.  And for me, that summed up Stars Hollow and the Gilmore Girls for me.  I won’t share the final four words of the show because it’s too soon for everyone to have seen it.  But I will say, what I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of folks say, I’m going to need a little more closure than that.  Growing up in picturesque Stars Hollow is not the typical upbringing, although there are quite of few of you who may have been raised in a Mayberry-style town.  But no matter where you were raised I think most everyone can relate to “your world’ being a place where everyone knows everyone, and everyone’s business.  A town like Stars Hollow is a safety net.  And so is the community I grew up in.  I’ve tried to “go home” a few times since I graduated high school.  Once when a short tenure at Kansas State didn’t work out, once after my Dad passed away and once after my “career” in politics ended.  I still refer to the town I grew up in as home.  But it’s not really home anymore.  And that’s what I gathered from Rory in this revival series.  I think she thought of her trip as a stop-through, and that she would be moving on whether it was to London, back to NYC, or wherever.  She wanted to feel the freedom of being “rootless.”  But home always tugs at your heart-strings.  Sometimes going home is the answer, and you will develop a beautiful life there, just another chapter to your upbringing.  And sometimes going home is just a reminder that everything has changed, and while the scenery may still be the same and they still serve the same coffee at Luke’s Diner it just doesn’t feel like home anymore and staying seems like more of a suffocation method than a joyous occasion.

So what do the Gilmores mean for us?

I believe Lorelai, Rory, Emily and even Richard (RIP) are the symbol of home is where the heart is.  It’s not a house, a large one like Richard and Emily’s, or even a smaller one like Lorelai’s, but home is where the people you love are.  For Rory, she came home, but I think more or less she came home because she had not found love in Brooklyn or anywhere else she had been, and she came home to the love of her mother and best friend Lorelai.  She came to where she felt safe to face this next, unknown period of her life. And for me, that’s what the Gilmores mean, a reminder that home is not a structure, it is the safety net of the ones who love you unconditionally.

In the pilot of, “This is Us” Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) and Dr. Nathan Katowsky (Gerald McRaney-hello Major Dad) are sitting on a bench talking.  They don’t care much for each other at this point, or so it seems, and there’s animosity and anger in the air.  And then Dr. K says, “I like to think that one day you’ll be an old man like me talkin’ a young man’s ear off explainin’ to him how you took the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turned it into something resembling lemonade. If you can do that, then maybe you will still be taking three babies home from this hospital, just maybe not the way you planned.” [1]  Let me stop and say, if you haven’t started watching “This is Us” please drop what you are doing, I’ll even encourage you to stop reading now, and go find the reruns and get caught up, it’s fantastic.  I’ve been calling it “Parenthood” 2.0.

Now that some of you are back from catching up on the past few episodes and have completely fallen in love with the Pearsons…I’ll carry on.

So many things have happened already in the first nine episodes, I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum if you failed to heed my challenge to go get caught up, I really don’t want to ruin it for you.  But the moral of the story on this series is nothing is as it seems and nothing goes the way it was planned.  How many folks can relate to that?  People die in the show-important people, crucial characters that impact the rest of the cast.  Sort of like those of us who have buried a parent, a child, a loved one, a friend, a spouse, that someone we thought we’d never be able to live without.  People learn more about their pasts than they ever wanted to know.  And people see themselves for what they really are-behind the façade, behind the makeup, behind the scene, behind the weight, they see the raw reality of their existence.  And every bit of the show just slaps you in the face.  The same Braverman-induced tears come through with the Pearsons and you are left on the edge of the couch, drink in hand, just hoping it works out.

We’ve talked about what the Bravermans and the Gilmores mean for us, so what about the Pearsons?

The story is still unraveling, the show is still developing, but today I can tell you the Pearsons exist to remind me that I cannot help someone else, if I cannot help myself.  Discovering who I am, excepting my flaws, celebrating my gifts and challenging myself to be a better version of me than I was yesterday are necessary for my growth.  Randall, Kate and Kevin are finding themselves as adults.  They are going through their pasts and rediscovering the truth behind how they got where they are today.  Jack and Rebecca are reminding us as parents that we don’t always have to have it together, we just have to show up, but that our decisions today will affect someone else tomorrow.

So today, flip on the Netflix and watch a show that reminds you of who you are, where you’ve been and where you are going.  Take a step outside of your own shoes and allow yourself to experience life on the screen instead of just bearing the burdens you carry today.  Put on your Emily Gilmore pearls and have Richard Gilmore’s drink in hand and laugh, everything will be alright.

[1] https://www.tvfanatic.com/quotes/shows/this-is-us/page-6.html

The Spirit of the Goat at Wrigley Field…

It was Game 4 of the 1945 World Series; the Chicago Cubs were playing the Detroit Tigers.  The folks at the entry gates began to smell a stench that was deemed unbearable.  As they were looking around for the source, up walked William Sianis, a Greek Immigrant who owned The Billy Goat Inn, a tavern nearby Wrigley Field.  Sianis had two tickets with him that day, one for him and one for Murphy, his pet goat.  The stench was identified as coming from Murphy.  Murphy wore a placard that day that said, “We Got Detroit’s Goat.”  The attendants at the gate tried to turn Sianis and Murphy away.  But he argued he’d purchased two box seat tickets and he deserved to use them.  They were allowed in the stadium reluctantly and unfortunately during the 4th inning, ushers arrived and said someone complained about Murphy’s odor and they were asked to leave.  William Sianis is credited with saying, “You are going to lose the World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again.”  At this point in history it had already been 37 years since the Cubs last won the Series.  William “Billy Goat” Sianis was right, the Cubs would not win that World Series.  They ended up dropping Game 4 and went on to lose the Series in Game 7.   [1]

As the years went by and the Cubs still had not won another Series, the management at Wrigley Field tried everything to break the curse.  The determination was so strong to rid the team of the hex they even had Sianis’ nephew Sam appear at Opening Day in 1973 and allowed him to bring along a goat from the lineage of Murphy, his uncle’s now infamous curse-inducing goat.  Sam declared that day at Wrigley Field, “The curse is lifted.”  Sam appeared with a goat at Wrigley again in 1984, 1989, 1994 and 1998, to no avail.  William Sianis himself rescinded the curse in 1979 as well.  When the Cubs actually made the Playoffs in 2008, they invited Reverend Father James L. Greanias, a Greek Orthodox priest, to Wrigley Field to spread holy water throughout the Cubs dugout.  They went on to lose the series 3-0 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  [2]

What some may not know about the Cubs is they appeared in the World Series in 1906 and 1907 before winning it in 1908.  They went on to play in the World Series again six more times before the Sianis Curse in 1945.  The never appeared in the World Series again until this year, 2016, even after appearing in the NL Division Series 5 times since and the NL Championship Series 4 times since.  [3]

No one really knows if there is any such thing as a “curse” with potential to thwart history, but one thing is for sure, the Cubs struggled to overcome William Sianis’ words as they were proven true year after year, season after season.

The Chicago Cubs 2016 season was nothing short of miraculous, a true work of art, poetry in motion if you will.  And as a lifelong Cubs fan, it was everything I’d always dreamed of, and so much more.  With a record of 103-58 (.640) and finishing first in the NL Division history was being made.  President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, General Manager Jed Hoyer, The Ricketts Family (owners of the Cubs) and Manager Joe Maddon had assembled one incredibly talented lineup, bench and bullpen.  But the Cubs had talented players before.  This was the 145th season for the Cubs, and actually their 100th year at the storied Wrigley Field.  They finished the season in October with the best record in Major League Baseball and won the NL Central title by 17.5 games.  The Cubs went on to defeat the San Francisco Giants in the NL Division Series, and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.  But they had been there before.  In fact, in 2015 they played the Dodgers for the NL Championship Series as well, but lost.  This time was different though.  This time they actually won.

The World Series started just as many Cubs fans are used to, with a loss to the Cleveland Indians.  They came back and won Game 2.  And went on to lose Games 3 and 4.  Down in the World Series 3-1, most Cubs fans believed the curse was continuing.  But then on the backs of Jon Lester’s pitching they won Game 5.  And two days later, Jake Arrieta pitched an incredible game and they whooped the Indians 9-3.  Game 7 in Cleveland.  The place was packed with folks like Billy Murray and Lebron James in attendance.  The game started off looking good, the regular season ERA leader Kyle Hendricks who had clutched the NL Championship Series for the Cubs was on the mound.  Dexter Fowler led the game off with a home run to center field to give the Cubs and early 1-0 lead.  Hendricks held the Indians scoreless until the 3rd Inning. The Cubs were still up 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth, things looked good, the curse might finally be lifted.  And then after 2 outs, Maddon pulled Hendricks.  A few errors later and another pitching change the Cubs found themselves tied up with the Indians.  A tired Aroldis Chapman, who had pitched in three straight games, somehow found a way to hold Cleveland and force extra innings.  And then the rain began.  Now, 17 minutes later, the Cubs and Indians were back on the field to start the 10th Inning.  Things were definitely shifting the Indians way before the rain delay.  The Cubs found a way to score two runs, it was 8-6 and the Cubs made yet another pitching change, not once but twice.  On the second pitch that Mike Montgomery threw, with two outs already recorded, Michael Martinez hit a grounder to Kris Bryant at third base who scooped it up with a huge smile on his face and tossed the out to his buddy Anthony Rizzo on first and right then and there, the 108-year curse was over.  [4]

So why am I writing about this, it’s been a month since the Cubs won the Series?

The nostalgia of course.  The history.  The pride.  The reminder.  And the memories.  I grew up a Cubs fan.  I watched more games on WGN with my Dad growing up than I can even count.  I’ve made more memories with my friends at Wrigley Field than I can even remember.  I’ve owned more shirts, more hats, more baseball cards and more paraphernalia than I can even find today.  And why?  Up until this year they were cursed, never able to pull it off, frustrating and heart breaking.  They were America’s most unfortunate team.

But they were my team.  And they were my Dad’s team.  All throughout Chicago you will meet folks who will tell you that their Grandfather passed away just hoping for one Cubs World Series win before he died.  And in almost every city in America you will meet folks who tell you “Well, I’m a Cubs fan even though they never win.  I just always have been.”  They will go on to tell you of their family who passed down the love of the Cubbies to them, for me it was my Dad, for them it might be their Uncle, their Mom, their Brother, their neighbor.

For me the 2016 World Series win by the Chicago Cubs was not only the end of the curse it was the baseball moment I had waited almost 34 years to see.  And victory is never sweeter than when you have waited a long time to experience it!

 

[1]  www.usatoday.com/story/92715898

[2]  www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/article/william-sianis-and-the-curse-of-the-billy-goat

[3]  www.chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/history/postseason_results.jsp

[4]  www.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Chicago_Cubs_Season