Watch “Joe Diffie – Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die) (Official Music Video)” on YouTube

His Church Was in Hollywood

PaPa. My maternal grandfather. We were on one of our rambles when “Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox When I Die” came on the radio. He laughed and said, “I want this song played at my funeral.”

Well, PaPa, I wasn’t allowed in on the planning of your funeral, since I’m the black sheep of the family, but every time I hear it, I smile and think of you. I’m writing about our escapades, PaPa. I’ll see you all again. Until then, tell me bout the good ole days.

Hot Cross Buns

Good morning everyone, I’m back on the rightly scheduled blog day! Hope you’re all doing ok, I sadly can’t say the same for my family and I, as the cream I was given to help my ankle caused a reaction to my skin and made my foot go weird, so I’m going to have to […]

Hot Cross Buns

In My Opinion

Modern Dubai is A Third World Country Wearing A First World Mask

My family lived in Dubai in the 1970’s, when employees willing to move there received an additional wage called “hardship pay.”

Sheikh Rashid Bin Said Al Makhtoum was the benevolent ruler who only had one wife, by choice. He was wise in his dealings and generous to our Girl Scout Troop, allowing us to ride horses from his stables.

Jumeirah Beach was a lovely stretch of beach where our company hosted “seafood bawls,” a Louisiana cuisine staple. Shrimp, crabs, potatoes, onions and corn on the cob were boiled in huge pots. Newspaper was spread on makeshift tables made from planks of plywood on sawhorses, and the feast was piled on the newspaper.

We, the “younguns” would venture away from the lights around the tables to explore abandoned buildings, now only foundations. We heard nothing but the wind and waves as they lapped the beach. Oh, and our laughter, filled the night as we played.

New Dubai is a parody, a facade, truly castles and industries built on the sands of an artificial playground. Nothing left of the once beautiful and old world charm. It saddens me, because I see behind the mask.

If you read the news, you know how even wives and daughters of the rulers of Dubai are treated. How those of the servant class are treated, virtually slaves. Glamor on display, but squalor and degradation behind the glitz and glamor.

I mourn the “hardship” of my Dubai. It was home to me and this new Dubai is a transient place with a false face.

“Tell Me A Story.”

Long ago, in our childhood, my younger sister would say this to me as we tried to fall asleep at night. Our life behind closed doors was far from the perfect family facade we were coerced into living for an abusive father.

My sister died on July 17, 1995. She had been in a coma since her car lost control in a curve in the early morning hours of July 15, 1984. Not wearing her seatbelt, she was thrown from her car and her head hit a utility pole.

I saw her there, in ICU, my beautiful golden haired, blue-eyed sister. From birth to graduation, people called her “Doll.” Beautiful inside and out, smart and funny. Now she lies in her bed, fingernails and toenails perfectly polished.

She’s on life support, the front side of her hair shaved and the stitches mark the place where they removed part of her skull as her brain swelled. One cut on her chin that didn’t even require stitches is her only other injury.

“Tell Me A Story.” I hear her say this to me in a whisper all these decades later. My pen now whispers across pages, notebooks filled with pages of all the words. So, though I haven’t been able to do her justice, I will not give up.

Dearest of sisters, my Sidekick through life, I haven’t given up, I’ve only been side-tracked by that man we used to call Daddy. He’s proven his worthlessness and I delete him for his depravity.

I remember how we huddled together, laughing silently as I told you stories making the real monster raging in another room into a comical coward, one we could blow away when we synchronized our breath.

For My Sister