Road Trippin’ – Schulenburg, Tx


Facebook post June 17, 2017……

I heard the organ from outside…….
I entered the church and heard singing; thinking how nice to have a recording for visitors.
I stood at the alter and listened for several minutes, thinking I was alone…..
I turned to leave……
The Father of the church was singing in the balcony of this historical church.
The most beautiful, acoustic sound.
It was an emotional experience for me…..


Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, Dubina, TX

My one day adventure to Schulenburg, Tx to tour the historical painted churches was a day of sweet serenity.

What better way to start a tour of churches than stopping first at a winery; after all they were Catholic churches! Like most of these vineyards, they are in the middle of nowhere and The Whistling Duck was no different. I drove my little red Focus 8 miles down a red rock road; not meeting one other car. I’ve said it once (or twice) and I’ll say it again……..so thankful for my little cellular device; without it I wouldn’t be able to find these delightful vineyards. The owners are always so friendly and willing to talk about their wines. I visited 2 other vineyards on this adventure; Majek…..where they do their tastings in shot glasses……Texas style! And Moravia…….unfortunately I was not impressed with this winery or the staff and that’s all I’ll say about that. This adventure was focused on the churches……

Saints Cyril and Methodius Church on FM 1383 in Dubina, Tx was built in 1876, destroyed by a hurricane in 1909 and rebuilt and painted in 1912 (according to Google). It was the smallest and quaintest of the churches I visited that day.

Photos below by Jeri Shivers


Second being St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Schulenburg,Tx (Ammansville)
Built in 1918
Painted in 1919
Photos below taken by Jeri Shivers


Third being Nativity of Mary Blessed Virgin, Schulenburg, Tx (High Hill)
Built in 1906
Painted in 1912
Photos below take by Jeri Shivers


Fourth being St. Mary’s Church of Assumption, Flatonia, Tx ( Praha)
Built in 1892
Painted in 1892
Photos below taken by Jeri Shivers


(I was not able to enter St. Mary’s, their sign said “closed for mass”)

While approaching the small church of Saints Cyril and Methodius, I heard the most beautiful singing, in Latin I assumed; it wasn’t English. It was a lovely sound out in the middle of nowhere.

There is something so pristine and surreal about entering an empty church alone……..

I entered the church quietly so as not to disturb anyone.

Who? The heavens?

I was alone……

The church was meticulously hand-painted in blue and white. No stained glass, only frosted windows. This church was filled with light. There were barred doors between the small foyer and the sanctuary. The doors were pulled together but unlocked, so I went in. I touched the walls and inspected the handy work of the painting. I ran my hands along the old pews. I admired the statues of the Virgin Mary and the Crucifixion. I walked along the alter, but didn’t approach the pulpit. I stood for several minutes admiring the huge sculptures behind the pulpit where the sermons are given. All the while listening to the beautiful singing and remembering my grandmother who was a devoted Catholic. It made me smile.

My heart filled with emotion when I turned to leave. At no time did I expect to see anyone else in the church; I thought I was alone.

But there standing in the balcony of this beautiful small church was the Father. Singing like a beautiful songbird with so much clarity and volume, I thought it was a recording. The acoustics were amazing.

I stood in shock for a fraction of a moment. Feeling a little guilty, I felt I had disturbed his praise time. He never stopped singing as I walked quietly back down the aisle. As I disappeared under the balcony and into the small foyer…….the singing stopped.

A surreal moment in time.

As I sat in my car trying to gather my thoughts and write a post for my Facebook page about what just happened; the Father emerged from the church. I watched as he climbed into his Toyota Tacoma pickup……..a pickup I had not noticed when I drove up half an hour earlier.

He drove away.

This time I really was alone; asking myself, “Did that really just happen?”
And yes; it was a twilight zone experience that most people may not “get”……..

but it totally got to me.

I couldn’t begin to write about the other churches I visited. They were bigger, grander and more intricate, but none of them affected me the way this little historical church did. Imagine my surprise to discover (while looking for the correct dates about the churches) this little church is to be viewed from the foyer BEHIND the barred doors. Full access is only allowed by the occasional guided tour and mass on Saturdays and Sundays.

I had special privileges that day.

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I’m Lost, Wandering in some Foreign Land……….


Transition; where do I start…………………………..

I’ve missed writing………………..

Whoop! Whoop!  Raise the roof!  ~  I have a job!!  But it’s been a long time since I started over…………………

Low man on the totem pole and one of the oldest people there (Ouch!); working with young, ambitious prosecutors trying to take a bite outa crime, is interesting and fast paced……………………to say the least.

Very different from the world from which I came,  where I had an office with a view and when there was a meeting you shut the door.  My new office is a cubicle in a big open space where people yell to one another across the room, call people out in the open and have no verbal filters.  I spend my days filing criminal cases of cute guys and girls that smile and pose in their mug shots like it’s their high school yearbook photo; all the while I’m thinking, “What the hell is wrong with you people?”  It’s a different world; the things I hear and read on sex and crime, just like a “Dateline, 48 Hours” TV show………………………..it’s real.

I ask the young people working with me, “Does it ever slow down?”

In unison, “No.”

And then my court partner says, “Consider it job security.”

Bug-eyed, I reply, “That’s one way to look at it.”

TRANSITION!!!!

Then there’s RV living.  Thankfully my parents bought a nice, large, comfy travel trailer with 3 large slide outs; couch, recliners, seperate bedroom with queen size bed, 2 TV’s and nice kitchen……………………….

as big as it is; it’s still small.

Quart size fridge, 3 burner stove with an oven that’s never been used, a toaster oven that has so much shit on top of it, it’s to much trouble to remove the stuff to use it; so I just use the microwave.

My mother is somewhat of a pack-rat, every cabinet, drawer, nook and cranny has something in it……………………………

then I moved in!!!

Let me just say, it cramps my wardrobe style.

I have had to do some serious rearranging to make some room for “working” Jeri.  I managed to clean out some space in the top of the closet to put a couple of small cloth “bins” for my unmentionables, two small drawers (outa 6) for shorts, tees and p.j.’s, a cabinet with one shelf for medications, perfume, nail polish and other personal toiletries and 2 small shelves in another cabinet for my stackable jewelry trays.  I have “over-the-door” hooks on every door I can put one on and after removing all the empty hangers , I made room to hang “some” of my clothes in the closet.

Where are my shoes??   I know you’re dying to know…………………….

I brought 30 boxed pairs and I made a spot in the living room, along the wall, beside the couch; to stack them outa the way.

It’s a tight, cozy fit for me and my little cat.  Oh, what will I do when family comes to visit???

TRANSITION!!!!!

There’s no forgetting I have another home………………………

I went home this past weekend to check on things and collect a months worth of mail my family had been putting inside my house.  The weeds and insects were taking over the outside of my house, so I spent the most part of the day outside cleaning, fighting a nest of yellow jackets not yet mature enough to know to attach the dumb blonde hacking away at their little haven and running like hell from red wasp after pulling a trailing vine out from under an eve housing a nest and if that weren’t enough I discovered a spider the size of a small universal planet suspended by countless nylon ropes; where I had been pulling, hacking and dragging dead tree limbs.  Scared me so bad I ’bout pee’d my pants.

The thing was HUGE!!

I decided I was done for the day.

There was also the problem of nothing in the house to eat.  Dirty and tired, I wasn’t going out.  I scrounged up a can of soup and a bottle of Michelob Ultra.

What more did I need??  I was done for the night.

I never thought I’d not sleep well in my own bed, but that huge ass spider had me freaked out; I tossed and turned all night.  I finally got up at 5:00 a.m. , made coffee and searched for something to eat (again).  I found a loaf of bread in the freezer………………….

I’ll have toast…………………..smeared on a little peanut butter and took a big hearty bite……………………………

OMG!!!  It tasted like raw, stinky fish!!!

In the trash it went………………..the coffee tasted really good.

I wandered back to the room I call my “closet”; there were all my clothes, shoes and jewelry staring at me saying, “Where the hell have you been?  Why’d you leave us behind?”

I spot a pair of shoes and rush over to them; pick them up and ask myself……………….(out loud), “How did I leave these?  I love these shoes.  I’m taking these back with me.”

I shoulda never walked back there.  Before I knew it, I had a huge pile of just a “few things”.  Standing there looking at the pile I asked myself, “Where the hell you gonna put this stuff?  You bearly have room for what you’ve got there already.”  So I put most of it back, but did bring a few things I said I absolutely needed……………………..

6 pairs of shoes, 6 dresses and 2 pairs of jeans (we have “dress down” Friday at the DA’s office).  I boxed up a few more toiletries from my stock pile, washed the few dishes in the sink and made the bed.  I loaded the car in preparation to make the return trip.  On the way outa town I stopped at Mom’s for a visit and to watch the second half of the Texans game.

She fed me.

As I write/type this, I’m back at my RV “home” and started a new work week.  But I feel a little discombaubulated.  My “home” feels a little foreign to me, and here; as great as it is; doesn’t feel like home.  It’s like being Alice and Dorothy all rolled up into one…………………………..wandering in a land were things are not as they seem, while searching for the way things use to be (that kinda shounds like the makings of a country song!).  I can’t find my “roll”, my “flow”, my “way”; I’m on the outside looking in and it all feels very foreign to me.

Why is transition so hard for some people and a walk in the park for others?

I really am trying to look at this as an adventure, but I’ve never been the adventurous type…………………………..

I’m learning…………………..but it’s awfully slow.

Exercise in “Focus~ism”


There are times of late that I MIGHT have found myself in a down and out, poor ‘ole me, piss por, boo-hoo, oh..my..gawd!, egg scramblin’ attitude; over my umpteen hundred job rejections.

I..said…MIGHT…have found me!

One might say, I need a little adjustment to my attitude.

Boo….Hoo.

I say, I just need a little random exercise on “focus~ism” (Jeri’s word)

Say what????

As writers, especially poets; which I claim to be, if you can’t find a word that works for what you need, you make one up.

Am I right???

Come on, you know you’ve all done it. I do it all the time.

As you all know; if you’ve been following me, I’m an uneducated writer, dumb-as-dirt, don’t know a thang, kind of writer.

But…. there’s logic behind my words………..most of the times.

For instance; what is the definition of “tour~ism”????

Anybody???

I’ll tell you……………..

“the act or practice of touring”

So if that is the definition of “tour~ism”, can you guess what the definition of “focus~ism” is??????

Come on, come on, come on!!!!

Never mind, I’ll just tell you…………………

“the act or practice of focusing”

Taa-Daa!! Genius right? (please hold you applause until the end of the presentation)

Now that we are finished with vocabulary, let me get back on track…………..

So when I need a little focus~ism, I open my poetry writing, exercise book; the one I’ve been working out of for the last year. Remember; I’m an uneducated writer, dumb-as-dirt when it comes to the formal, educated way of writing poetry. Hell, any kinda writing for that matter.

So I just write.

It’s cheaper than therapy, which I can’t afford and it keeps me outa the looney bin. I already live in my own little Oz and if I go to much further in the deep end of the pool they’re gonna cart me off to Rusk ina straight jacket!!

By the way, (here we go again) the aforementioned is a town in Texas where the state mental health facility is located. I was well into my adult years before I learned that “Rusk” was an actual place and not a state of mind (oh….my….gawd!)

Need I say more about the deep end of the pool…………..

Anyway, after yesterday’s “scrambled eggs”, I needed a little focus~ism.

A little focus~ism on something other than my freakin’ dilemma.

Looking back in my workbook, it had been 6 weeks since I had worked in it. Long over due. No wonder I had no focus~ism, I had been neglecting my therapy!

I was due for a session, so I scheduled an appointment first thing this morning with my therapist.

Which………………is my writing book on the kitchen counter (let’s get that clear).

Sometimes my little writing sessions are not successful; the writing exercises are complicated and being ditzy like I am, I don’t understand them.

But…………………..I push forward, even the worst attempts are better than no attempts, right!!

Todays counter session was called “Rhapsodizing Repetition”……………….

“repetition of meaning in a single line, separated by a punctuation”

Translation please……….”the meaning in the first phrase is repeated in the second phrase”

WTH????

My dumb-as-dirt brain could not comprehend this. I guess it had been scrambled to death yesterday!

I read it……..and I read it……..and I read it…………

Got another cup of coffee and told myself, “Self, you will not let this kick yo ass!!”

So…….I read it and read it again………….

BLINK, BLINK, BLINK went the neon sign!!

Hot diggity dog; oh, yeah; you got this! (dancing like Sha-na-na)

I must admit, it was a little challenging, but isn’t that what exercise is all about? Ok, so I didn’t hit all the phrases right on the head; big deal. I think it’s a damn good attempt.

I count todays counter session a success on working on my “focus~ism” Peace out!! 🙂

“Morning Rhapsody”

She listens quietly, contemplating the sounds;
the whirling of the fan, spinning plastic blades,
air conditions forceful air, coolness spewed in space.

Minus of the birds song, larks chirping can’t be found;
percales silent rustle, a muteness of her sheets,
eyes blinking in the dark, blind lash and lid meet.

There’s thunder in the matter, roaring brain pounds;
hear conversations ethereal, ringing air in her ears,
silent fading darkness, nights quiet disappears.

Slowly daylight dances, beams frolic in the dust;
rhythmic shadow dancers, marionettes in space,
pirouettes fill the room, spinning round the place.

Darting lazy drifters, exploding morning crust;
ride the stale cool air, blown helpless by the fan,
persona participation, she lends a helping hand.

Creeping night time stealers, sneak the dark from us;
sunlight washes windows, morning drenched panes,
kiss the night stealers, darkness greets the day.

Snow White


Lake Livingston Texas a rare opportunity to photograph the migrating white pelicans.
Snow White

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Let’s take a walk


Lake Livingston Texas while photographing white pelicans I took advantage of the opportunity to photograph the other water fowl.
Let's take a walk

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White Crane


Lake Livingston Texas while photographing white pelicans, I spotted this white crane posing on a pier. I took advantage of my opportunity,
White Crane

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Swaying Building


San Antonio Texas Riverwalk cruise, this building appeared to sway. Almost gave me motion sickness – LOL
Swaying Building

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Early Morning Riverwalk


San Antonio Texas Riverwalk
Early Moning Riverwalk

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Stars And Stripes


The entrance to the bar Coyote Ugly on the San Antonio Riverwalk.
Stars And Stripes

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Two of a Kind


Lake Livingston, Texas a rate opportunity to photograph the white pelicans.
Two of a Kind

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