Friday, May 30, 2008

Verb Tenses

Grandma Slump had a good life. Grandma Slump has a good life. Grandma Slump will have a good life. It's true, over the years she's had a good life. Whether, though, she has a good life now, or will have a good life, for her is a matter of some discussion.

Remembering her unique -- so far as we know -- status as someone spending time both on Earth and in Heaven, the usual verb tenses don't matter to her in quite the same manner as they matter to the rest of us.

John McCain is different. Did you know I was going there? Do you know now that I went there? Two questions. One relates to the future, one to the past. But to John McCain, that is nitpicking, and verb tenses don't make any different. So, just out of imagination, let's say John McCain says "We have achieved victory in Iraq," he could very well mean, "We will someday achieve victory in Iraq if we stay there 100 years." Past tense, future tense, doesn't make any difference.

To Bill Clinton, it depended on what the meaning of "is" is. To John McCain it depends on what the meaning of "is" was or might be at some point in the future. There's no point of "is." There's only this amorphous time stew that people in hallucinations or people at advanced ages -- way beyond retirement -- might imagine.

The reason all this came up is that he said we now have less people in Iraq than before the surge. But the opposite turns out to be true. But John McCain says so what? It's just a verb tense. By saying we now have less people in Iraq than before the surge, he means eventually that will be true. By the same token, I now have a million dollars. Actually, I'm broke. But what I mean is that I will have a million dollars, if I win the lottery. So to say it now or to say it later when it may or may not happen is all the same thing. The point is I want a million dollars, and I may as well say I have it, because in the future, who knows? It could happen.

Hey, maybe I'll enjoy John McCain as president. Whatever I want the future to be, I will proclaim it already here. You've heard of preemptive war, this is preemptive optimism. Why live down in the mouth today, tomorrow's coming! Happy Days are here again. By which I mean, at some point in the future, hopefully, if everything works out, Happy Days will be here again. Just verb tenses. It's the same thing. They're here!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Five Fathoms - Deep Madness

I'm just looking around, fascinated by the rich variety of things popping up on the recently-updated list.

"Neil" has come back with "Five Fathoms - Deep Madness," and some artwork of "Raven," who may not exist.

He says, "here i inaugurate a new run and invite you into the murk," noting before that he has been away from blogging because of grad school, responsibility, and public exposure. There's a story behind this, of course, when he says, "it would not do for my students to stumble upon explicit evidence of my misdeeds or those of the Crewe"...

His other blog dates to 2002.

What Did She Text

Here's an interesting blog, a concept, What Did She Text. "As the title suggests - this is a log of some of the text messages she sent."

Since text messages are usually very short, the entries are short. But there's a thread -- and I've only looked at today's, 5-27-2008 -- depending on whether the texting went on.

Today, "she" doesn't seem to be in a great mood. Starting off with this. Then this: "
better hurry home so you don't have to deal with me anymore." After that, she's the "butt of the joke." And finally, "Yeah. You couldn't care less."

As of a few minutes ago, there were 35 posts from 2008, in addition to 104 from last year.

That takes discipline and dedication to keep that going. But it would be an interesting record. All such preservation is cool.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Time Is For Wasting

It's Memorial Day, a time for wasting. All time is time for wasting.

When we honor the dead, we're honoring time that was wasted. Their ashes, bones, remains have wasted away.

The old philosopher -- O, what's his name? -- Eddie Lawrence -- asks, "Is that what your problem is, Booby?" You got a problem? You have a problem with decorating graves? Yes, it's a waste.

Who likes to go by a graveyard and see plastic flowers and little windmills wasting good wind? I don't. Nor do I like all the trinkets, leftovers, memorials, signs with sentiments, the windmills, balloons, stemmed flowers, iron hanging posts. None of it.

I'd rather have a nice clean grave. Marked out like that, a rectangle with fading edges giving way to obscurity. Perhaps nothing at all would be better.

Anytime I try to remember dead loved ones, it doesn't help to be at their grave. And I definitely have tried. Although it is somewhat cool, once in a while, to say, "There, right there."

Generic Blog Post Form

General announcement of subject, perhaps a question or quick observation.

Something from current events or well-known history or mainstream philosophy to tweak interest.

Personal observations, how it relates to you the writer.

Something touching on Grandma Slump's life, perhaps a recent jaunt in Heaven.

Bringing it back to Earth, with humorous insights and something quite amusing to the general reader.

Saying "Be that as it may," or "Only time will tell," and drawing a moral. Wrapping it up too neatly betrays the form, so drift out, keep it mildly ambiguous at the end.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Within the Walls of Heaven

Grandma Slump loves Heaven. As I've said, she's often there, then occasionally back here on Earth. Whether in the body or out of the body, I can't say -- God knows. The fact is sometimes I see her, sometimes I don't. She may be a phantom, a spirit, or just a slumping old lady carting around a lot of ambiguity as to her exact status in terms of cosmic things and our day-to-day practical reality.

The more I say about her, of course the more room there is for contradiction. And the more contradictory comments I make the less Grandma Slump's existence can be thought of as something of fact. This is a concern that keeps me up nights, and in the other moments I am able to sleep, the time is far from restful, usually involving tormented dreams, and, it is reported, scenes of terrible twitching and babbling. I know the other day I woke up with a very wet pillow, so...

As I was saying, Grandma Slump loves Heaven. And she's loved it ever since she was a little girl in Sunday School, and even more when she got a book at Christmas in 1914 from her Aunt Emma. The book was Intra Muros ("Within The Walls," sometimes called "My Dream of Heaven"), by Rebecca Ruter Springer. In this book the author describes scenes in Heaven, some of the sights and sounds, and something of the life -- social and spiritual -- in that realm beyond. Springer writes that she has never claimed "this strange experience" is either a revelation or an inspiration, but was something that came to her during "a period of great physical suffering and prostration, and I have always considered it as sent in compensation for that suffering." (p. 79.) On the same page, she says at the time of her experiences "the marvelous things...seemed indeed to me to be a most wonderful revelation."

The book focuses on the coming to terms with Heaven for the recently deceased, their homes, their renewal, their relations with the Lord Jesus and with one another, and watching for those still to come. It has some great scenes, including bathing at the lake, in which one is filled "to overflowing with a draught from the Celestial Life itself." (p. 33.) The lake is "as smooth as glass, but flooded with a golden glory caught from the heavens, that made it like a sea of molten gold." (p. 31.) People are in the lake, floating, swimming, and a band of singing cherubs floats high overhead, drifting, with their baby voices giving notes of joyful praise. (p. 31.)

In the lake, the narrator is amazed by perfect prismatic rays around her, then being within the water "as upon the softest couch." (p. 32.) Earlier in a river, she also had an interesting experience, plunging into its bright water. To her surprise she could breathe, laugh, talk, see and hear under the water. "I sat down in the midst of the many-colored pebbles, and filled my hand with them, as a child would have done." There was something of a cleansing going on. (p. 7). The river "takes away the last of the earth-life, and prepares us for the life upon which we enter." (p. 33).

And of course, Jesus is there! In Heaven. He comes by the house, and is very tender. She whispers in an excited way, "My Savior -- and my King!" Jesus acknowledges this but is modest, "Yes, and Elder Brother and Friend," putting them on a more even plane. Jesus says, "Ah, now you begin to meet the conditions of the new life! Like many another, the changing of faith to sight with you has engendered a little shrinking, a little fear. That is all wrong. Have you forgotten the promise, 'I go to prepare a place for you; that where I am, there ye may be also'? If you loved me when you could not see me except by faith, love me more now when we have really become 'co-heirs of the Father.' Come to me with all that perplexes or gladdens; come to the Elder Brother always waiting to receive you with joy." (p. 38.) I love that.

Of course she, the narrator, is thrilled, drinking in the tones of Jesus' voice, watching eagerly his face, "exalted, uplifted, upborne, beyond the power of words to express." Then, with a divine smile, he arises, and assures her, "We will often meet," and passes noiselessly and swiftly from the home. (p. 38.)

The choirs of angels, the waters of life, the oneness of sharing in the divine experience, the reunion with passed on relatives and's quite a presentation. One slightly, ummm, irritating tendency of the author is to leave the indescribable or the very sublime undescribed. Example: "I would I might record in detail the precious words of wisdom that fell from his lips; I would that I might recount minutely the events of that wonderful life as it was unfolded to me day by day; but I can only say, 'I may not.' When I undertook to make a record of that never-to-be-forgotten time, I did not realize how many serious difficulties I would have to encounter; how often I would have to pause and consider if I might really reveal this truth or paint that scene as it appeared to me. The very heart has often been left out of some wonderful scene I was attempting to describe, cause I found I dared not reveal its sacred secret." And blah blah blah, tell it in the sequel, honey!

I'm that way in describing things too, the aspects of Grandma Slump's life that may end up overly-contradictory. For example, if I say her given name was "Margaret Hill" and that Aunt Emma gave her this book at Christmas in 1914, that limits me in what else I might say someday. It's like being in a court of law; you don't want to say too much but you want to tell the truth. But what if the truth is that there is an element of fantasy and concocting in your story all along? Then you're either dependent on a very accurate memory, a set of biographical 3" x 5" cards, or just acknowledging up front the possible contradictions. I have chosen the latter course.

As to this book, it's been a few years since I read it, and I had to pick my way through today to get the quotes I have. I definitely remember the water scenes, although I thought they were a little more like where the participant was really encompassed and really, really renewed. Maybe I'm just not seeing the scene I thought I remembered. And Jesus is definitely a great presence in the book, but he comes and goes quickly and there's really not much that goes in-depth in any of those experiences. There's a good celestial city scene in the book somewhere.

But, as I said, the author's reticence to say too much is irritating. In a supplementary chapter, she acknowledges, "There are some seeming inconsistencies in the book of which I myself am aware." (p. 84). And since her readers were seeking practical information and not just a story -- comparative distances in Heaven, and the like -- it would probably be a lot easier to just pull a curtain, a veil, over things that would be tough to describe. To which I say, Try harder next time, Springer!

After all that, you can see why this has always been one of Grandma Slump's favorite books. To her it is more or less an accurate account. As one who spends a lot of time in Heaven, as she does, she ought to know!

P.S. I've looked this book up on the internet, and it appears the current editions have an additional chapter. I don't know what that's all about, or whether it would really add anything meaningful beyond what the earlier editions had. My copy – I guess I have two – but the one I quote from above was Copyright 1898 by David C. Cook Publishing Company, and in truth was a gift to a "Margaret Hill from Aunt Emma, Christmas 1914."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Grandma Good, Coo-Coo

As a John McCain supporter, Grandma Slump is up in arms.

She's usually on the couch watching Animal Planet. She loves the Crocodile Hunter, and I haven't had the heart to tell her about the accident. She just thinks the same crocs keep getting in trouble and needing his assistance. Steve has a lot of close calls, and it's not good for Grandma's heart to see him in such danger all the time, but along with the danger she gets a good deal of pleasure, so I don't like to deny her.

But one day the episode was on with the croc missing half his face, either the upper or lower plate. I think he's known as Old Crikey. And that episode is especially frightening, to the point of I had to immediately apply oxygen. And that's just for me; Grandma's in a complete swoon. So somehow I have to get the remote and turn the channel, and what do I turn to, one of these religious shows, Pastor Rod Parsley!

He's on TV, vigorously strutting across the stage, wiping his brow as his preaching has everyone worked up, himself included. With this, Grandma is mesmerized. Those eyes that so frequently stare blankly ahead are focused with about a quarter's worth of intensity at this shamanic exhorter of the masses. He's in touch with all that's divine, and for Grandma, alternating as she does between Heaven and Earth (see post, Our First Contradiction), that means something. Sweet Beulah Land is in sight, but with the amount of brow-mopping going on, the temperature seems to be very hot this day.

Now, Grandma knows how to add 2 + 2, especially in lucid moments. And she knows what's happening -- religiously, politically, socially, in all the various ways. Heh heh, just the other day she was pointing out to me some interesting facts about Hitler being not so much an evil despot bent on conquering the world and eradicating the Jews but a servant of God, to her way of thinking accomplishing in a roundabout way the greater purpose of sending the Jews back to the Promised Land. At first, I glanced down at her weekly pill caddy to make sure there weren't still pills in it from last year. But when I saw that look of determination on her face, lucidity marring her usual blank stare, I knew something was up. She got that from that other preacher, John Hagee! And now this Parsley's got her all worked up about the Muslims, something about the Muslims joining Madelyn Murray O'Hair to outlaw Christian music on the radio.

Add to that, then, her support of John McCain for president. Then McCain gets the endorsement of these various preachers, and Grandma Slump's in Heaven, even when she's not. It's suddenly all I can do to hide the checkbook, because she not only wants to send in her weekly "love gift" to these men of God, now she wants to send money to McCain. Since I can't stand McCain or any of the Republicans, I want to do all I can to fight this impulse. This isn't Grandma Slump! This is the Anti-Soros! Must calm down. Must talk her out of it. What ideas are there, though? I've got nothing!

Then suddenly it happens. John McCain rescues me! He repudiates these pastors' endorsements. And all I have to do now is rock Grandma's world with the news. John McCain has turned his back on the divine. John McCain isn't "one of us" anymore. John McCain has "gone secular," sought his share of the inheritance (their endorsement), and now has gone to a foreign land (repudiating them) to waste his substance (any potential Grandma Slump contributions) in riotous living (secularism, humanism, Democratic talking points).

With that accomplished, I had to sit there and soothe her ruffled feelings. "There, there, Grandma good, coo-coo, sleep, sweet relief, go back to Heaven, let me keep the remote..." And I am thankfully spared the extra expense of contributions to McCain. And when it comes to inheritances, that helps me here on the home front with the bottom line.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Grandma Slump fondly remembers Gladys Frump on Laugh-In in the '60s (1960s), with the dirty old man's lascivious offer, "How about a Walnetto?"

The show was very racy, as she remembers it, but Miss Frump redeemed it, keeping her virtue intact and pointing the way to chaste morality for a generation of girls who otherwise might not have had such a good influence. Gladys once said, "Some nights I put out all the lights and play Robert Goulet records till I could just scream!" That showed great restraint on her part.

As far as the Walnetto, it was a great candy. But it seemed like it wasn't too long, '70s sometime, that it was suddenly gone. It came in a little pack, as we're recalling, that had maybe 10 or so, each wrapped in a wax-looking paper. With a great walnut taste. (Memory is a funny thing.)

Then, without warning, at some point, maybe the late '80s, the Walnetto was back. But not for very long, and this may depend on where you lived and what kind of distribution there was. If I find out it's been around all this time, that means I've been cheated all these years by poor distribution!

Now, bringing us up to date, I happened to be an "old-tyme candy store" the other day, and there was the Walnetto again! Slightly bigger than remembered, and each in a wrapper like the one in the picture. The taste was essentially the same, but they seemed nuttier, pieces of nut. Very good. The price was 15 cents each. Ummmm, good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flat Stanley

Maybe some of you have heard of Flat Stanley. I think it's Stanley. It's every name, actually.

Kids make a picture of themselves and send it off on adventures, around the town, the state, the world! I saw a wall full of pictures of kids from an elementary school. And it was Flat Jane, Flat Andrew, Flat Cameron, Flat Jennifer, etc.

We'll be featuring at this website, occasionally, Flat Grandma Slump. Watch for Grandma Slump's picture in various places that I happen to travel to. (I don't really range very far from home, so this might take some time. I probably could Photoshop her in at the top of the Eiffel Tower, up on the Empire State Building like King Kong, except my picture of her is of her seated. How to get around that, I don't know. Maybe one way is to cut off her torso and make the bottom of a body like a hinged kneed party hang-up person, easily posed and clever.)

Wherever I go, I'll have to toss in her photo.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Grandma Slump's Favorite Song - "Laffy Taffy"

Funeral Songs

Speaking of Heaven, as I was last night, they send you there with songs at your funeral.

I had a friend who died. And one of the songs at his funeral was "Heaven," by Los Lonely Boys. OK, that ruined that song.

I was at a store a couple days ago and it was playing on the radio. So my mind has to go right back to my friend's funeral! Ack!

People need to stick to the normal, old-time funeral songs, "Beyond the Sunset," whatever the others are. Or pick really really obscure songs, like indie groups or local artists from other towns, or songs that we wouldn't miss if they were suddenly gone, like "My Band" by D12 or "Laffy Taffy" by D4L. (Hmm, both my examples, without premeditation, come from groups with a D and a numeral). OK, pick any song for your funeral that was recorded by a group that starts off with a single D followed by a number. Like on a jukebox, D-12, except Olivia Newton John says, "Please, mister, please, don't play B-17."

Actually, I wouldn't miss that song. Really, though, can you imagine "Girl, shake your laffy taffy" at a funeral?

Monday, May 19, 2008


I used to be a pretty big fan of All My Children. Since I was just writing about Grandma Slump probably being in Heaven, it made me think of Heaven on All My Children.

I've actually quit watching it, except because it's on at lunch time, and someone else is watching it, I usually catch the first five to 15 minutes. Currently, Dixie is back, not alive this time, as she died in the poisoned pancake episode some months ago in that who thing with the crazed whoever, I'm pretty sure it was from Zach's deranged father, Alexander Cambius, Sr. But Dixie is back in spirit. Adam Chandler was the first to see her, because she's haunting him, trying to get him to tell Tad about his missing daughter Kate, of whose whereabouts Adam knows. (She's right in Pine Valley, since it's a very small world.)

So here is Dixie, haunting Adam. And your first thought is that he's got mental problems, which is what everyone is assuming. But Dixie is popping up at places unrelated to Adam, such as at Jake's bedside in the hospital. And other places, I don't know. She is dead. Yet she has come from the afterlife, presumably Heaven, to help out with the information about Kate. (Why she doesn't simply appear to Tad and tell him herself, that I don't know either.)

And every Christmas, there is an old priest, Father Clarence, who also apparently comes from Heaven, because he only shows up at Christmas (although there was an exception to that a couple months ago) and he always has a miracle or two for some character(s) needing one. The folks of Heaven have access to the real life setting of Pine Valley, which of course is fictional.

Speaking of people coming from Heaven, a number of years ago, Jesse, who in the story was dead for the last twenty years, appeared from Heaven as an angelic figure, to help out in some situation. He was portrayed as really being there and really being Jesse. But now, with the passing of time, and in need of a storyline, Jesse is back as a living, breathing character. The story now is that he stayed away twenty years because he was under threat of death, and his family as well. But he came back, and as far as I know there was no mention or explanation of his being a Heavenly Being at some point in the last 10 years.

The other Heavenly appearance I can recall was when Jenny was seen in Heaven, the dead daughter of Opal. So in this world we're talking about, folks are in Heaven (1) and on Earth (2). Just like Grandma Slump is purported to be able to do.

But was there anyone from Hell? Yes, Ray Gardner, Tad's father was portrayed as having come from somewhere not exactly Heavenly. But that may have been a mental thing on Tad's part and not meant as a reality in the context of the show.

Grandma Slump lives! And breathes! Or maybe not!

Our First Contradiction

At the beginning of this blog we said that Grandma Slump was probably in Heaven. But in our most recent posting we indicated she was politically involved and supported John McCain, and that she was present in some sense, yet not in charge, but had traded on her good name to get nursing home insurance from us.

Yes, there is a contradiction in there, which we ourselves will not be able to unravel. We might just do it like John McCain does. 1) He says it's appeasement to talk to our enemies and shouldn't be done; 2) He was for talking to our enemies a couple years ago, and didn't mention anything about appeasement then. His team comes out and explains it: clearly no contradiction.

So, as to this blog, wherever Grandma Slump may actually be: in Heaven; looking over my shoulder in spirit, or in body; in a nursing home; seated on the couch; in bed (as we said yesterday, which would then technically qualify as our first contradiction, and this one tonight would be the second, depending on how you count contradictions, i.e., as conglomerated episodes, or if each detail constitutes its own enumerating as a contradiction we will be losing track); or wherever.

Maybe a good way of understanding Grandma Slump is that sometimes she's in Heaven. Sometimes she's on Earth. Sometimes she's at the nursing home, etc., sometimes in bed, teeth out, snoring straight up at the ceiling, etc. She's like Chickenman, everywhere, wherever we need her to be.

Grandma Slump Supports John McCain

Public Notice: The staff at the Grandma Slump blog does not support John McCain for president.

Let us be crystal clear. We will never vote for a Republican for president, especially one like John McCain who promises more of the same George W. Bush mismanagement of government (and life in general). We despise, detest, and otherwise loathe him and anyone like him. We hope he goes down to a crashing, well-deserved defeat. We will pray day and night, if that's what it takes, to make sure we are not saddled with more criminal Republican government in the United States of America.

That said, Grandma Slump herself supports John McCain. It is something in her psyche, no doubt. And despite our own complete loathing of John McCain and the Republicans in general, we still love Grandma Slump no matter how misguided she is politically. But you see Grandma Slump was raised in an era in which you looked up to your elders, whoever they were.

She sees John McCain as a true American hero and reports that she has followed his career ever since she was just a little girl. But Grandma Slump, being the sweetheart she is, says she would like John McCain even if he weren't so old. As she puts it, "I was also for Herbert Hoover because he was such a nice boy."

Grandma Slump's opinions are respected at this website, but she is merely a figurehead. She has no leadership position. Nor will she have. There will be no endorsement of John McCain! We own the rights to her name and image, as she sold them to us in exchange for nursing home insurance. She signed them away. Yes, it has been alleged that one of us was guiding her hand when she signed the form. But that's all in the past. What is done is done, and the signature looks authentic.

John McCain for president? Not in this lifetime!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Signing off for the day...

I'm about dozing off sitting here. I had a pretty good nap today. It was one of those special times when my mind says it was several hours when it only turned out to be an hour and a half (or so). It made me happy to wake up from it and realize I hadn't wasted the whole day, as it felt like I had.

But now the refreshment from that sleep is all gone. And it's around 11:00 p.m. at night, a time actually quite a bit later than when Grandma Slump usually tucks us in. But in this case, she's got her nightcap on, her teeth out, and is lying abed snoring straight up at the ceiling. I saw her rumpled stockings in the bathroom, airing out for tomorrow.

It's interesting that this blog, being brand new, is in that nether-region vis-a-vis Google, and is not being indexed. So I could be posting national secrets here and no one would ever know: national secret 1 national secret 2 national secret 3 national secret 4.

It's Sunday Morning

Please worship at the church of your choice.

There is a flavor for everyone. A denomination. Perhaps a small sect of seekers in a small room at the university.

One of the interesting ones I went to once is the Unitarians. The day I was there, and I've about talked myself out of the (apparently false) memory that I went twice, they had some real nice music by a lady on the harp. And the speaker gave a talk about something to do with Jesus of Nazareth, his teachings. My (apparently false) memory of going there one other time might not be false, because it seems like I also remember a talk about soil conservation or some other environmental theme. But that one I may have read about.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Difference of Color

Note: The following is a poem from 1895, out of a newspaper. It seems like just a bit of the average sentimental doggerel usually seen from the time. But it takes a surprising, humorous turn!

A Difference of Color

I have gazed into the pupils
Of a pair of sweet blue eyes
And have seen therein reflected
Azure tints of smiling skies.

I have felt a glad emotion
When I gazed in eyes of gray,
And my callous heat has yielded
To the magic of their sway.

I have braved the sparkling fire
Of two flashing eyes of brown.
I have faced their scintillations
And the anger of their frown.

But the eyes that cause most sorrow
Are the black eyes which I bear
Since my darling's angry father
Kindly helped me down the stair.

—Milton Goldsmith in Detroit Free Press.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Playing The Part

Playing the part of Grandma Slump is Mother Kendall, the only identification on the back of this photo.

We welcomed this photo to our home yesterday, finding it at an antique store. It was supposed to be $3.00 with a 10% discount. The lady at the counter said it'd be that much for any photo, be it small or big. But when we got to the counter with it, she said, it's 50 cents, plus tax. How that happened, we wondered about. But it's always nice to save money, especially on something like this that we were obviously willing to spend $2.70 on.

That I don't get. The lady knew we were willing to give her $2.70 for it. Why tell us it's 50 cents when we're right there with the money? The only reasonable answer to that question has to be: It's the magic of Grandma Slump! She did it from Heaven.

Grandma Slump

We love someone. We love someone very much. We love a particular little old lady, one whom we lovingly call Grandma Slump. She is such a nice person, very old, to be sure, but that happens to all of us, if we're lucky.

She sits there in her own forever pose in this photo, wherever she may be today. As to where that is, we might reasonably guess Heaven.

But Grandma Slump is with us right here on Earth, in spirit. Her calm, cool, ability to focus on any issue before her, then to sit and reason it out, wherever it may lead, is what we will aspire to at this blog. When we feel unstable, perhaps out of balance, needing equilibrium, we will look at her feet, planted solidly on the floor for our own grounding. If perhaps we find ourselves tearing out our hair -- be it concerning politics, worldwide crises, or the latest Paula Abdul scandal -- we will observe Grandma Slump, and see her hands resting calmly on her lap. That will bring us back.

The things of man's fashion may change everyday, ever restless. And the incessant demands of the flesh and our own vanity may beckon us toward foolhardy ventures aplenty. But at the end of it all, we have something that others don't have; we have a rock of Gibraltar in Grandma Slump, a singular example of strength and poise in her, a beacon of light on a shore however far away it stands, a place that is home, home and renewal, renewal and true life. In her we see that true life and a graciousness that is without bounds.

Grandma Slump, dear Grandma Slump, we love you with all our hearts!