Sweet Innocence

A bright eyed little boy boards the plane with his mother.  He stops at every seat to tell his mama what number and letter is on the chair.  The tired passengers on the plane are suddenly awake a cheer every time he gets one right.  He already has a fan club.  The mother pauses as she finds their seat.  To make things easier on everyone she was hoping they wouldn't have to worry about a neighbor, but there is an old Indian lady sitting on the isle seat.

The woman must have seen the mothers hesitation and beams as she stands up and welcomes them to their seat.  She is older.  She is wearing a beautiful Indian outfit and gold.  She looks frail and powerful at the same time.  She is beautiful with a humble demeanor.  She is one of a kind.  Her voice was like a song as she bids her greeting.

The little boy tells her about the new car book his Mommy got him and how airplanes go up in the air- and also not to forget seat belts, so we can be safe.  The woman smiles brilliantly, obviously pleased with her partners for the three hour flight.

The little boy plays his games and looks at his books as the mother and lady talk.  They talk about India and her arrange marriage that has been a love of fairy tales.  They talk about a young marriage that broke and a new life that was brought by a knight in shining armor.  They talk about love, life and God.

"You are very nice.  Would you like a cookie?" The little boy offers up a Thin Mint.
The Lady hesitates. "I would love one of your cookies and it is so sweet of you to offer me one, but I can not eat cookies."
"Oh, how very sad." came the serious reply.

The woman erupts in a melodic laughter.  She was Hindu, and vegan.  Meaning the sweet joy of a Girl Scout cookie was something she would not know.  She informed the mother that she tries every moment of the day to be faithful to her religion and that her sweet blue eyed boy about made her crumble.

Meanwhile, the people in the isle in front of the happy trio are complaining about the little boy.  He talks too much.  He keeps moving around and bumping the seat.  Does the mother not know how to control her child.  Before the mother could hiss a reply to the grumpy passengers, the lady says, "How sad that some people can not find the beauty in the innocents and joy of a child.  He is so well behaved and has such a gentle spirit.  I have never seen a child fly so well.  It is a shame that people must complain.  I already love him as if he was my own blood.  He has stole my heart and I can not see how any other heart would be so hardened to him."

Her quiet rebuke makes the chattering women silent.  Before they can come up with a rebuttal a soldier chimes in.

"I have been over in the sandbox for the last 10 months.  That little dude you are being such a jerk to gave me a Girl Scout cookie.  Do you know how awesome that is?  He just did his military a favor and I think people need to think their words and actions before my PTSD comes out." He winks at the mother as she stifles a laugh and the women jump at the thought.  Other passengers chimed in to the boy and mothers defense.

The Lady laughs silently, then turns to the mother, "You are an amazing and righteous woman.  Do not let anyone in your past, present or future tell you otherwise.  You have raised you son in the ways of your God and do him honers by that.  You can tell that your God is with you and your son.  He is pure and lovely.  Keep true to your God and continue to do for your children and you have been."


Do you know how beautiful that was to hear?  Owen was oblivious to the battle that had just ensued.  He was content pointing to where our house might be not realizing how many strangers loved him.  How his small acts of kindness by offering his cookies or blanket to people, turned a dreaded flight into a joy.  His love for life and laughter rang out through the plane and the people smiled.

Do you have any idea how good it felt to be confirmed by someone?  To be told that they can see God in you.  That you are raising your children right?  To be loved for no reason.


The little boy started to squirm as the plane made its decent.  "Mommy, I gotta go potty!"
"Baby, the plane is trying to land, we can't get up.  Can you hold it?"
"Yes, Mommy, I will try."
The burly soldier chimed in, "Your right, little dude.  I gotta go potty also!  When we land, will you show me where the potty is?  I am scared I will get lost."
"Yes sir!  I know where it is!"

When the plane landed the soldier jumped up. "Sorry guys, but I have to clear the isle!  The is a little man here who has to go potty and two lovely ladies (in reference to the Indian lady and mother) that have to escort him.  Plus, I drank too much."

The cabin burst into laughter and gladly kept to their seats as the small family and now friends rushed to grab their belongings.

A kind word or gesture can change a persons day.  Anyone who has flown knows there is no rushing off the plane.  People bump and growl to get off, but one night before Easter, people gladly gave up a few minutes for one small boy.  There are small joys in life we forget to see.  Miracles are around us constantly, but our schedules, worries and everything else block our vision.

Her eyes were clear.  She was so beautiful to me.  She had been fighting different cancers for years.  She was about to go in for another battle.  As I said she was a vegan.  She has never smoked or drank.  There was no reason for her suffering.  Instead of being bitter she was joyful.  She was at peace.  She reconfirmed my faith in God and gave me hope in humanity.

I pray I will see her again some day.

Like a Ghost. Instead of spirits without bodies, we are bodies without spirits.

In our society it is popular to condemn God.  Let me rephrase that.  It is popular to condemn the Christian God.  If you are Buddhist you are peaceful and insightful.  If you are Wiccan you are one with the earth.  If you follow new age beliefs you are one with everything and everyone.  If you are a Christian you are a moron and a jerk.  I don't know what is worse... being praised for praying to a rock, being a terrorist for being Muslim, for being considered a drugged out freak for being New Age, or to be completely disregarded and mocked for being a Christian.

I have said before, hate is a disease.  It is more powerful than cancer, nukes and sugar combined.  I am ashamed.  I am ashamed that such a free thinking country is so full of hate.  We praise little drugged out girls but someone who tries to find faith and morals is appalling.  What have we done?  We take celebrities words as gold and trash a humble man that lived thousands of years ago, who even if he was not God, taught love and hope.  

I believe in God.  When I say I believe in God, I mean I attempt to be a Christian (Christian means Christ like).  I believe God gave us free will and wants us to love one another.  That means if someone is gay or of another religion- LOVE them.  He doesn't tell us to punish sin but to offer good news.  How much good news do people get theses days?

There was a woman I flew with when I brought Owen home.  She was Hindu.  She was one of the most BEAUTIFUL people I have ever met.  She praised me for raising such a good boy and told me that my God would be proud.  God loves her.  She might not follow him but oh, how he loves her.  He doesn't hate her for following the faith she was raised in.  He yearns for her.  Why would I condemn her for following a faith that made her a better person?  I pray for her daily.  She was so beautiful.  

I am ashamed that some churches have done things that have blurred what Christianity really is.  I am ashamed that when I say something about being a Christian or church that people have a bad taste in their mouth.  I am not ashamed of my God.  I have looked and studied other religions.  I choose this.  I am not ashamed.  I am ashamed of people.

I am saddened that some crazed Islamic people have destroyed the integrity of other people who follow Islam.  I will not get into a religious debate but I will say that there are good and wonderful people of every religion.  The vile acts of people claiming a faith should not determine the integrity of any individual.  The vile acts that have been done in the name of a religion should not define the religion.  

I had a pastor in Virginia, who took a month per religion and taught us it.  He went to a Buddhist temple and asked a Monk to explain what he believed.  He said he was trying to clarify what media has changed.  He wanted peace and understanding.  After we watched the video he told us all the wonderful things we could learn from them and what they can learn from us.  A month per religion.  A month of clarity.  Respect and understanding.  

Those of us who try to be Christians need to take a step back.  We need to understand.  We need to respect others and that God gave them free will and despite anyone mistakes or faith, he loves them.  Who are we to do otherwise?  Those of you who deplore religion need to take a step back.  The individuals who have misrepresented a religion should not define it.  Look at what the people believe.  Is it really so bad that people want hope and guidance?  This is such a disgusting world we live in.  What is wrong with wanting something better.?

To the Current Resident

I am sure you might be wondering why I am writing you.  I wondered a bit myself, but I try and follow my gut and it told me it wouldn't be a bad idea.

Every time I move into a new home I wonder about it.  What would the walls say if they could talk?  When I leave, I find myself wanting to leave a note, "You home was filled with love and laughter".  Yours was.  I hope it still is.

My Mom and her four siblings grew up in your house.  I have often wondered how they all fit.  I suppose you do what you have to.  My Mom tells me stories about when she was younger.  The front yard was filled with Pine Trees.  It was different when I was little.  But I am getting side tracked.

I am "grown up" now.  I have been in and out of the service and am married to a Sailor.  We have two kids, a little boy and a baby girl.  We also have two dogs.  The all American family, and what would the All American Family be without a dream?  So we just bought a house.

I never dreamed of coming out West.  It seemed fascinating, but not something that tugged at me.  Now we are in Nevada.  My husband works at Top Gun.  His family lives an hour South and I love it here.  It is such a contrast to the quilted fields of Illinois.  There is color and life here, just not what I grew up loving.  It is beautiful in its own unique style.

We were blessed to get the house we did.  It is close to friends.  Big enough to grow into.  It fits us now and will fit us later.  It is perfect for entertaining and we love to have BBQ's and company.  But it is a new house.  Built in 2005- I am not complaining!  We don't have to worry about structural issues and we know there will be a while before we really have anything to worry about... But I miss the hardwood floors and crown molding.  New homes do not have the character that older homes have.  I miss it.

We moved to Illinois when I was in First Grade.  We drove from Virginia when my Dad got out of the Navy.  I remember when we pulled into the driveway.  It must have been the wee hours of the morning.  Everything was quiet.  There were no other cars.  I looked up to see the angled brick entryway and grey blue shingles and thought the little window next to the chimney made the house look like something out of a Grimm's Fairy Tale book.  I was terrified.

When I got up the next day I explored more.  The Carters still lived in the house next door.  They also lived there when my Mom was little.  Their whole front yard was a garden.  It was incredible.  They use to let me walk around in their garden and tell me secrets about the flowers.  Like when you turn a Bleeding Heart upside down, it looks like a lady in an old bathtub.  I was convinced there was magic there.  But there was.  There is always magic where life is loved and nurtured.

To the left of the chimney was a big pine tree.  It was surrounded by lava rock. (I thought it was magical also.  How did lava rocks get to Illinois?  A first grader hardly understands buying it at a store, so magical it will stay.) Then there were larger flat rocks surrounding the tree bed.  I tried not to walk on that side of the house unless I was going to the Carters.  The pine needles hurt my bare feet and I was convinced the "cave" under the front steps had dead bodies.  I read a lot as a child.

On the right side of the porch, in front of my bedroom, was another magical garden.  I loved it.  There were so many unique plants but the one I will always remember is Lambs Ear.  I don't know if that is the correct name, but that was what it was called.  It was a mint green leaf covered in velvety grey hairs.  It looked and felt like it could have been an ear of some kind.  I have traveled the world and never had the pleasure of seeing it since then.  My husband and I stumbled upon some last week.  I was so excited when I saw it.  My  amazing husband said he is going to buy some for our new house.

In the front part of the yard, on the right, was a funny little tree.  I thought it was the kind that the bark peeled off and you could pretend it was paper, but it wasn't.  The trunk was white with spots.  There were delicate flowers underneath.  It was a jungle when I played with my Barbies outside.  There were saber tooth tigers that lived there.  If the Barbies weren't careful it could have been tragic.  There were also two big trees on the city part of the yard.  I haven't been to Champaign in years, but I believe they have been cut down.  It is a shame.  I love neighborhoods with lots of trees.

In the back yard there were big orange flowers.  I thought fairies slept in them.  If you look to the top of the big tree in the back yard, you might see a flag/rag.  When my Uncles were little they climbed to the top.  I wish I would have also.

I loved the hard wood floors in the house.  They were so welcoming.  The big fireplace was one of my favorite spots.  I use to lay on the rug and read in front of the fire.  Are there still French doors in the living room?  I thought they were beautiful and let so much light in... but I didn't understand why they were there since it just dropped and there were no steps.

I loved the "diamond" door knobs with the key holes.  I use to collect old keys hoping to find the one that would match my door so maybe I could lock it to keep my little sisters out.  My little brother was just a baby.  I didn't have to worry about him.  If you weren't careful, you would accidentally pull the door knob off.  Instead of it being frustrating, I loved putting it back together.  I felt smart like my Daddy.  This little girl worshiped her fathers ingenuity.

There was a big solid wood door that shut the hall way to the bedrooms and bathrooms.  It was so heavy and hurt like the dickens when it ran over your foot.  It had a giant mirror on it.  I thought the mirror would take me back in time or maybe to Narnia.  I remember crying into the mirror when the back to my earring fell off.  I had just gotten my ears pierced and we were fighting to get the ear ring back in my ear.  Oh, it hurt.  We use to open the hall door half was and then the closet door.  We would pull the blankets down in the closet and make a nest in our door fort.

At the top of the stairs (to the right) was a funny little closet?  Crawl space?  I made that my reading cave.  I loved how the light from the windows shined in and it was small enough and a bit creepy.  It was perfect to read my Nancy Drew books in.  The little half bath in the attic had old newspapers in it.  When I say old, I mean old.  The ladies still sported corsets.  They were probably remakes but it still added some charm to the old house.  At one point my sister and I had our room in the attic.  My Parents were nice enough to give me the walk in closet as my space.  I had my desk and American Girl stuff in there.  Once, I tried cleaning the bathroom.  I used too much soap and water so my sister and I turned it into a slip and slide.  I don't remember if we got in trouble... but we laughed.

There was a wood pile in the back yard.  If you touched the stove and fridge at the same time you would get shocked.  There were paneling in the attic you could pull out and hide things in.  Once a squirrel broke into our house at Christmas time.   The basement scared me but there were boxes with treasures in them so I would toughen up to explore.  Our play room was in the part of the basement with the tile floors.  There was a bar in the back I would do homework at.

There was magic in that house.  It was the magic of imagination.  It was the magic of love.  It was a happy home.  I write you this because sometimes it is good to hear things like that.  Sometimes it is good to forget about the dishes and laundry and oh my gosh,how long has it been since someone emptied the bathroom trash, and look around and see the beauty we forget about day to day.

I am sure a lot has changed since I lived there.  Change is good.  It is your home now and has embraced you and molded to you.  I sincerely hope you find laughter there.  That when you pull in after a long day of work or school you see how beautiful it is.  I hope you know there is a girl, who had traveled the world, and every time she sees a house with an angled brick entryway she smiles.  Take time to crawl into that funny closet at the top of the stairs and read a book.  Just take time and be happy.  We all rush too much in this short life of ours.

Yours Truly,

Whitney McConnell

Hello, Babies. Welcome to Earth.

Yesterday was a busy one.  After the kids had breakfast and a bath we walked to medical then Lucky ended up taking me to the Hospital.  My sunburn started turning purple.  I have to say it was one of the more painful times.  However, I got a pasty Doc like me, and as soon as she saw it she knew was to do.  This cream is my new favorite thing.

Lucky took the kids to Walmart as I was at the Doctor but we had to go back again when I was out.  The kids were great.  Owen and I had a blast making Cammy laugh.  Everything was beautiful.  We finally got home and had dinner then put the kids to bed- AFTER Owen and Lucky played with a new race car track that Lucky bought them.

Lucky and I laid in bed having our usual "slumber party" as Lucky has called it.  We joked and talked about whatever came to mind.
"I think it is sweet how when I got Owen up he wanted to snuggle you." I said.  Owen isn't usually calm enough to cuddle.
"Yeah, I loved it.  He is getting so big though we wont be able to pick him up soon."
"Who are you tellin'!?!"

He is though.  He has gotten taller than my hip.  The baby that I have fought so fiercely for... is no longer a baby.  He is growing into an amazing boy.  He wont want my snuggles for much longer.  Cammy is already fighting to be in the big girl stage.  How dare anything try and hold her back from keeping up with her big brother!  Where does the time go?

When I was sitting in the E.R. yesterday, there was an elderly woman.  Her skin was paper thin.  She looked tired but still competent.  She still had a light in her eyes.  I was marveling that once upon a time she was a chubby soft baby, fresh and squalling in a mothers arms.  She was a young, vibrant woman like I am.  And now she was old.  Life is amazing.  The journey is so quick.  Youth and (physical) beauty is so fleeting.

She also looked in pain.  The whole right side of her face and right shoulder were black from bruising.  It looked excruciating and I was ashamed for being there for a burn (albeit a bad burn).  She is laboring with her breath as she whispered to (I assume) her son.  She said that they should go.  Instead of concern, he briskly turned to tell her if he had to take off work to bring her in she needs to sit and wait.  I wanted to smack him.  That is your mother!  She grew you inside of her!  She gave her youth and beauty to you and you dare chastise her for trying to give you your time back.

She had fallen.  I was heart broken at the lack of concern.  When my parents move to Nevada, when they are old and grey and if God Forbid they fall, I will be raising hell to get them treatment.  Why?  Because they held me, even when I was too big (size wise) like Owen.  They have loved and cherished me.  They gave their youth, beauty and time to me.  They have never backed down and have always supported me.

I want to do that for my children.  I want them to know my arms are always open.  I will always fight for them.  My youth is the perfect time to be chasing them.  My beauty is better spent on them anyways.  I want them to remember me as a strong and loving woman.  I never want them to have to sit in the ER with me after I have fallen.  I want to always be their rock.  I want them to know that I will always love them with every fiber that I am.

"If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind."

I don't know if Vonnegut would be flattered or appalled that I use so many of his quotes for this blog.  He is by far my favorite author.  He had a world weary, realist borderline pessimistic style of writing... but there was always hope.  Behind the blatant hurt and disdain for life, he had hope.  I appreciate that because I can relate.  Despite that his writings were a bit quixotic and absurd.  I loved it.  By the end of each book you learned something.

Right now I am the One eyed man in the kingdom of the blind.  We get our house in less than ten days and there is more packing to do than things put away.  I am trying dearly- no scratch that- I have put most of my Proverbs journey on the back burner.  Instead of getting up early and spending time with God, I have been sleeping till the morning song of my children wakes me up and begging God to give me insight through whatever he can.  So God chose Vonnegut and the crazy moments in life one might pass by.

I am sorry for me claiming some grandeur adventure and then slacking on it.  I have been so unfocused on pretty much everything at the moment.  I promise that after the boxed are packed and then unpacked, that this should get good.

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

I want to be sexy.  I want to be curvy and all that is woman.  I want Lucky's friends and co-workers to think he did a good job.  I want to be beautiful.

I did not wear my first spaghetti strap without anything over it until I joined the navy.  Too much skin, and having larger breasts like I did back then, made it hard to wear cute clothes without being obscene.  I still am uncomfortable in a bikini.  Not from the baby body... but anyone can see the crease where my butt meets my thigh.  That is so private!  I have a friend who wears leggings with cute little shirts.  She is adorable.  I would die.  I don't think leggings are inappropriate... I am just not comfortable with my butt showing.  My neighbor had me wear an incredibly low cut (for my standards) hugging dress for my husbands Christmas party.  Lucky loved it.  I wore my trench coat most of the party or was trying to adjust the dress the whole time.

Now that I am a mother I need to represent the woman my son should marry and the woman my daughter should strive to be.  I think in some aspects it is easy.  I am scared of mini skirts and plunging neck lines.  My dresses fit well but don't show off too much.  It is a lot easier now that I don't have as much to show.

So how does being "sexy" fit into my version of personal modesty?  I feel sexy in dark denim shorts and a white tee shirt.  I love the way I feel in some of my long sleeve shirts and a good pair of jeans.  Honestly, I am uncomfortable in the dresses I made.  When the wind blows, I have to pull a Marilyn Monroe if I am not wearing a petty coat (Note 1.  Petty Coats were made for more than filling out a skirt.  Note 2. I need cuter underwear.).  More than all that I feel sexy when I catch my husband checking me out.

I have never been an overly girly girl.  I have very muted colors in my wardrobe and not much frill.  I have embraced my style.  It fits my standards and I feel good in it.  When I feel good, I look good.  Even if my nails are chipped and I just can get the "messy pony tail" to look right (how do you mess up a messy pony tail?), I feel good, over all.

I define my sexiness by who I am.  My eyes are my favorite feature.  Apparently, I have a nice voice for a woman even if it is lower.  I laugh and smile a lot.  Those little lines around my eyes and mouths will grow to be my crowing beauties.  I am happy.  I look good with clothes on.  My style fits ME.  I have a good sense of humor.  I am well read and even through my failed High School years, I scored high enough on my ACT to get into a couple Ivy League Universities- meaning I didn't have to take an entrance exam for the school I am going to (Thank you, GOD!!! I was worried about it).  I am nerdy.  I am unique.  I am sexy because I am who I am.

Last note:  As I am writing this, I am so sun burnt it is purple, my hair was only half blow dried, I have a mix of Cheerios's and apple sauce under my nails and no makeup on.  My husband would still say I was beautiful right now.  Never settle for a person who does not see your beauty even on your not so pretty days.


We all have them.  Maybe with ourselves or maybe with another.  Sometimes it is hard to place where they started.  We are human.  We are flawed.

I don't do well with emotions.  A councilor I saw said that was the most devastating issue I had to deal with.  Emotion.  "Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.  I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward"  Kurt Vonnegut Jr.  

I cried last night.  I would like to blame it on my last pregnancy changing my hormones and making me some weepy twit... but really, I am human.  I suppose it is O.K. to cry once in a while.  I cried to God and my husband, whoever cared enough to listen, that it wasn't fair.  It's not fair that we are punished for doing the right thing, and the people who blatantly disregard the rules and truth get everything they want.  I lay awake at night tortured by my good actions and they sleep sound in their twisted deeds.

It's not fair.  But it's life.  And I cried.

My husband whispered sweet words while I broke.  He held me and told me that he knew we would deal with all this.  That every pain and penny was worth the days he had with us.  He told me things my heart needed to hear.

God whispered hard truths while I broke.  Pray.  Pray for those that persecute you.  Speak blessings not curses.  He sees the sparrow and he sees me.  Breathe, just breathe.

I don't want to bless him.  I don't want to love him.  I want him to go away.

I prayed for his heart.  I prayed for his mind.  I prayed that whatever vendetta he had would be broken.

Hate is a twisted disease.  It is contagious.  It picks apart your meaty bits to your bony bits.  It will rot you.  I started this journey to beak my vendettas against myself... I guess God had more in mind.  He took this time in my life where there is not much going on for me to learn about myself.  I am learning to like the quiet.  I am learning to breathe.

And I prayed.