Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Great Depression’

The Purge

Most married couples have their fights.  After you’ve been married a while, you realize that you’re really  just having the same fight on a different day.  Slightly different versions of the same fight.  But still, the same fight.    At least that is what Scott and I do.

A typical danger zone for Scott and me is when we are in a new place.  He is driving, and I am navigating.  I am terrible at navigation.  He is terrible at patience.   The first time Scott used GPS to navigate, he was alone with Eddie. When they arrived at their destination, Scott called me right away.  He wanted to tell me that the  GPS was marriage saving technology.

Another thing Scott and I  fight about is stuff.  Things.  Objects.  We treat stuff differently.  Scott treats his stuff very carefully.  He keeps it organized and in good repair.  He holds on to his stuff FOR.EVER.

I’m not so careful.  I think it’s just stuff.  Here today.  Gone Tomorrow.  I usually want to get rid of our stuff.

Recently, we were driving somewhere in my car.  Scott was in the driver’s seat.  He found his sunglasses that he had been looking for in the pocket of the door.  They were broken.  He was a little irritated.  He said, “Can’t we agree that you should just use your stuff, and I’ll just use my stuff?”  Then, he added, “If you do use my stuff, could you at least try to take care of it?”

I’m like, “Can we agree for you to  not be so picky?  They’re just sunglasses.   I don’t know what Scott gets all worked up about, anyway.  They work, don’t they?”



I thought Scott would never change.  For years we have been arguing about all this stuff.  I try to haul it out the door, he tries to drag it back inside.  He admits that one of his biggest fears is that we will be in need of something that we have given away.  It’s not his fault.  He grew up in the Great Depression.  Well, he didn’t, but he certainly could have.  He would have done well for himself in the Great Depression.

Scott has had an epiphany lately. This summer he is becoming a new man.  He is finally ready to get rid of stuff.  I’m shocked at what he’s finally ready to let go.  We have been tearing through the basement, and hauling away bags of silly, old stuff.

He has had these slippers for as long as I have known him.  He says he’s ready to give them away.  He was thinking to charity.  I was thinking to the incinerator.  Think of the lucky young man who will stumble across these shiny slippers at Goodwill.  The things our family does for those less fortunate.  I didn’t mean to make you cry.  I’m sorry.   Let us just be an inspiration to you and your family.  Give until it hurts.




The slippers were a huge indication of how serious Scott is about ridding ourselves of all of these things that are unnecessary.  Something even bigger than slippers happened though.  Scott said we could get rid of this:

dubuque girl


You know what that is?  That is a signed poster from the spokes model for Dubuque Star  Beer.   The model signed this for Scott when he was a freshman in college.  Yes, that’s a cornfield behind her.  In Iowa we laid out at the cornfield.

She wrote on the poster, “Dear Scott, you’re the hottest guy I’ve seen all day.  Thanks, Mary”

This was a big moment for Scott.  I know he had a lot of unspoken emotional attachment to this poster.  Mary was a special lady.   Scott spent some quality minutes with her while she took the time to sign this poster.

Over the years we’ve run across that poster several times.  Scott never failed to show me what Mary wrote.

“Miki, did you see what is written on this poster?”

“Yep,” I said. “I read it.  Again.”

I could tell it was a fond memory for him.  I was always impressed.  I felt like a pretty lucky person to have gotten the guy Mary thought was so hot.  The hottest.

After we cleaned the basement and threw the poster in the garbage, I told Scott I was proud of him.  I said that I knew it was a big deal for him to get rid of all that stuff, especially the memento from his special lady friend.  I said, I’m sure you really were the hottest guy there that day.

He was watching TV when I said that.  He didn’t bother to look away from the TV.  He casually replied, “Oh, I asked her to write that.”

This whole thing.  This life of mine.  It’s all been a lie.











My Marijuana Story

I smoked marijuana, then got in to more hard core drugs. I lived a life on the streets, until I was busted. I’m just grateful my time in prison finally turned me around. None of that is true, but do you realize how awesome my blog would be if I could just make stuff up? Darn it!

I actually haven’t ever smoked marijuana, or touched it, or planted it in my herb garden, or rubbed it on my ear lobes, or baked it into a bundt cake, or whatever you do with that drug. I did SEE it once. When I was on a tour of an evidence room at a police station. I’m just dangerous like that.

Marijuana is what people like to talk about right now. Maybe because smoking marijuana is how a lot of people want to pass their time. Those people want to make getting marijuana easier and more affordable.

As long as so many people are interested, I thought I’d tell you what I know. I hope you don’t think I’m going to go political on you. I’m not going to pass a verdict on legalizing vs. not legalizing. You know why? Because politics make people stupid. I’m speaking from experience here. I’ve been guilty of being stupid about politics. I was young then. I’m tired now. Have you ever noticed that the stronger and the more often a person expresses their political views, the less likely people are to listen? People are funny that way.

My intention is to narrow the lens. I want to focus on this one little area of my own time and space on Earth. It’s a blip, really. I want share my experiences, and tell you what I’ve learned from the people I know. That’s it. That’s my only area of expertise.

I’ve listened to an intelligent discussion regarding legalizing marijuana. I’ve heard the persuasive arguments stating the benefits: less drug related crimes, improved economy, help for those who are terminally ill. Those arguments are compelling. Maybe all of those arguments are valid. I am especially interested to see how the one about the economy turns out. I always wondered if we could have avoided “The Great Depression” if only more of the people at the time were high. It seems sort of like a basic economic principle they may have overlooked. But, I didn’t study economics; I’d have to do more research.

What I do know a lot about is teenagers, especially teenage boys. My husband has been coaching boys for 22 years. 22 years ago when we were young and fresh out of college, we had no opinions on marijuana. Marijuana affected our lives about as much as Flying Tree Monkeys. Are Flying Monkeys real? They don’t sound real, but we saw them with our own eyes in “The Wizard of Oz”, so we know they exist somewhere.

What I was trying to say before you got me all caught up in the Flying Monkey debate (C’mon, man. Just stay focused.)is that when Scott and I were just starting out in our careers, marijuana was inconsequential. I wish marijuana was STILL inconsequential. Scott and I were forced into this conversation. We were forced to develop opinions through painful, rip your guts out, face-to-face interaction with kids who smoke it. We do have opinions now. Our opinions are not favorable.

We have learned that teenagers tell each other that marijuana is totally not as dangerous as adults make it sound. They tell each other that it’s easier to get than alcohol, plus there’s not a messy hangover. They tell each other that it is NOT addictive, it is NATURAL. It is practically harmless. They say that marijuana is legal in some states for pity’s sake. Do teenagers say, “pity’s sake”? They would if they wanted to sound cool.

Once a teenager is convinced marijuana is no big deal, and they start smoking it, new and fun things begin to unfold: lies (lots and lots of lies), erratic behavior, loss of focus, lack of ambition, preoccupation, under performance in life, and eventually more and new drugs. I know. I know. People who like marijuana say that is completely untrue. They say, “marijuana is NOT a gateway drug, you fool.” They say, “just because you smoke marijuana, does not mean you’re going to smoke crack.”

If that’s you, then I’m happy for you. I’m glad you can manage your marijuana smoking. I just don’t happen to have any experience with teenagers who have been able to maintain a light to moderate marijuana smoking habit.

I can only speak of the boys I know. One hundred percent of the boys I know who smoked marijuana, eventually started doing worse. Those boys either didn’t finish or didn’t go to college like they thought they would. Those boys broke their parents’ hearts, over, and over and over, and in many different ways. Those boys all once had shining potential. They were sweet and smart and awesome. And, I personally believe that marijuana was the worst thing that ever happened to them.

It’s really hard to see boys you love stolen away from you. As young teenagers they have this energy and ambition. They have big goals and you believe they can accomplish them. Then they start smoking marijuana. Eventually, their personalities change. The boy you knew is replaced by this person who is either high, or preoccupied with becoming high. Have you hung out with people like that? They don’t get much done.

If people think legalizing marijuana is going to solve a bunch of problems, so be it. I hope they’re right. I don’t try to pretend to know things I don’t know and have not experienced. But, if they try to tell me that marijuana is NOT dangerous, and it does NOT steal potential, it does NOT lead to worse drugs for many kids, and it does NOT do families harm, I just know they’re telling lies.

People can lie and smoke pot, if that’s what they want to do. I’ve got my own problems. But, if people tell lies that have the potential to harm my kids or any one else’s kids, I’m going to speak up. I don’t care if it makes me unpopular, uncool or unfunny, because I’m mad. It feels weird to be mad. I am not mad very often. Mostly I just like to have fun.

I know some of the people telling these lies are so darn cool. They’re famous and they make a lot of money. I’m not sure how they could be wrong about anything. Ever. In their lives. They’re good looking, for cryin’ out loud. You can’t be wrong if you’re good looking. It’s in the Declaration of Independence.

They are wrong about this. The evidence I have seen, witnessed and know first hand supports my belief that marijuana does kids harm. Kids will exchange their future to stay high. That sucks. And that’s what I know is true.

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