Category Archives: Adventures

Double Standards

Notice: The following post contains language that may be offensive to some people. I apologize if you are offended by my use of language and I use it only in quoting the words of others.

This morning the radio personality, Moby in the Morning, used some inappropriate language while the microphone was unintentionally left on without his realizing it. Although I myself choose to eliminate those words from my vocabulary, I must admit that sometimes I have been known to slip and say them. I’m just keeping it real. I am not perfect and I sometimes make choices that I feel are wrong; as a human being I am flawed. I am a sinner, saved by Grace.

The apostle Paul says it best in Romans chapter 7.

 What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

21-23It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

I have been so upset over the way the radio station has chosen to deal with this situation. They have temporarily suspended the Moby in the Morning show. My husband and I have had several discussions about it throughout the evening and as we were riding in the car tonight listening to South107 my husband brought up the fact that several songs we had heard in our very brief time in the car contained the same kind of language that Moby is being disciplined for. The following is an email that I sent to the management of South107. It is my hope that those of you who read this will consider my words before condemning Mr. Moby.

To Whom it may concern:

I was in the car with my family just a few minutes ago and my husband and I were discussing the issue with Moby. While making the 6 mile trip to Wal-Mart and back we heard several songs played on your station with offensive language. Why is it okay for you, a family oriented radio station, to allow these songs to be played multiple times on a daily basis? These are not slips of the tongue. The words these artists say were intentionally put into those lyrics, rehearsed, edited, produced and played by every one of your disc jockeys. Here is a short list of songs and the offensive words they contain. Don’t be hypocritical and hold Moby (who accidentally said curse words over the radio) to a different standard than the one you hold yourself and these artists.

Toby Keith to say hell,

Toby Keith to say he’ll put a boot in your ass,

Montgomery Gentry to say hell yeah,

Jason Aldean to say screw you,

Tim McGraw to say son of a bitch,

Kellie Pickler say damn,

Gretchen Wilson (hell yeah)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Miranda Lambert (bitch, damn, hell)

How ‘Bout You Eric Church (ass)

Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good) Sugarland (***)

Drunker than Me Trent Tomlinson (damn)

Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares) Travis Tritt (damn)

Johnny Cash Jason Aldean (screw you, ***)

Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You Kellie Pickler (damn)

Between the River and Me- Tim McGraw (son of a bitch)

No Damn Good- Gary Allan

Hell on the Heart- Eric Church

Ain’t Killed Me Yet- Eric Church (hell, damn)

Lotta Boot Left to Fill- Eric Church (hell, damn)

I Could Kick Your Ass- Justin Moore

TOES by Zac Brown Band (ass in the sand)

THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA by Charlie Daniels Band (son of a bitch)

MY GIVE A (DAMN’S) BUSTED by Jo Dee Messina

Kiss My Country Ass by Rhett Atkins

Kick My Ass (Big & Rich)

Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy (Big & Rich)

Love Me Like My Dog Does- Billy Currington (bitch)

I look forward to seeing how this issue is resolved. I think you owe Moby a big apology. Yeah, baby!

A concerned listener,

Andrea Norton

Just a thought, before we go throwing stones at others we should take a look at our own choices. If Moby’s language offended you I am surprised that you listen to country music at all. Just something you may need to think about. Now, can I get a Yeah, Baby?

*If you can think of any songs I left out feel free to leave me a list of then in the comment box.

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The Hour Disability Didn’t Exist

It was an unusually warm January day. The world was bright and beautiful. It felt much more like springtime than it did winter. A little boy climbed a hill using his walker, a constant reminder of his disability. As I climbed the hill beside him I had no idea that a miracle was waiting for us at the top?

You see, there was an enchanted object waiting for us to arrive. Most kids take these magical possessions for granted, often leaving them out in the rain or lying in the grass where they drop them to lay forgotten until dad mows the lawn. Those kids don’t see the magic of the object, to them it’s just a common thing, something everybody has. Sweet G and I know that there is nothing ordinary about this thing because we know that the one waiting for us has the ability to make disability totally disappear.

Sweet G approached the item with the aid of his walker but once he turned loose and was safely seated, his disability faded away. It not only faded away for Sweet G, it disappeared from the consciousness of everyone on that hilltop. For an hour Sweet G was just a normal kid. My husband and I were just typical parents. We witnessed something that I had given up hope of G ever being able to experience.

You are probably wondering what was waiting for us on the hill that day. It was a bicycle, not a regular bicycle but a magical one. Someone special provided a hand cycle for children at Infinity Children Services to use. I have no idea who they are but I owe them a huge thank you because when he was on that bike something mystical happened. As he put his hands on the handgrips and started to pedal, he broke away from the bonds of his disability. 

We spent the next hour running back and forth in the parking lot on top of the hill laughing, cheering and forgetting that disability exists. For an hour Sweet G literally pushed his therapist aside and said, “I’ve got this. I don’t need you.” Giggles filled the air as my little boy sped back and forth in a small parking lot on a magical bicycle that has the ability to make disability disappear. For an hour he was simply a little boy having a normal experience with his parents.

Sweet G’s passion for life outshines the darkness of his disability. He inspires me to overcome the challenges I face with dignity and grace. Sweet G has life figured out. He knows the secret to living a full and abundant life regardless of his circumstances. The world would be a better place if we were all a little more like my G. If a miracle cure was found today that would forever erase every trace of G’s disability, I’m not sure I’d want him to receive it. However, I would like for G to have one of those magic hand cycles so that when ever he wanted we could make his disability disappear for an hour or two. ; )

Our Smokie Mountain Adventure: Part 1

The day was filled with excitement because my family and I were leaving after school to go on a weekend trip with a few of my classmates from high school. We had rented a huge house and were going to spend the next three days catching up with each other. It had been snowing here most of the day so school was released early. We hurriedly finished packing and finally hit the snow covered roads headed for the mountains three hours away.  A few of my classmates had already arrived at the cabin and reported no problems on the roads, so we kept our focus on getting there as quickly and safely as possible.

The roads began looking worse the farther from home we got. It was late afternoon and we felt sure that if we made it by dark we would be okay. My son and his girlfriend we’re following us in his car. It is his first real experience on the interstate and his first time driving in snow. Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck. About half way into our trip I started to feel sorta queasy. I assume that it is nerves and car sickness and manage to keep my nausea at bay until we stop for a bathroom break. As we are about to pull back out into the roadway a sudden surge of nausea hits and I lose both my battle and lunch in the blink of an eye. It is now that I start to question whether I could possibly be suffering from more than car sickness and nerves but we have come to far to turn back now. We are closer to the cabin than we are to home and it is beginning to get dark.

Back on the highway we drive slowly making our way to our destination. We turn off the main road onto a very narrow country road filled with hills and curves.. Cars are sliding off the roadway. So far we are fine and haven’t had any trouble. We were within a couple of miles of our destination. This is the point that my “friends” decide to tell us that we will not be able to get to the house. The drive is icy and dangerous. They tell us to stop at a convenience store about a mile from the cabin.

I have managed to keep from throwing up since our last stop but as the gravity of our current situation sinks in, my nausea comes back with a vengeance. My husband buys me some zip lock baggies and I begin to fill them up. One mile separates us from a nice cozy cabin filled with old friends. We can’t walk the rest of the way in the dark pushing our disabled son in his wheelchair. What are we going to do?

To be continued. . .

Autumn Memories

Fall is here and it brought along with it memories of years gone by. Years of running and playing with T underneath trees adorned in beautiful jewel colored dresses. Soft breezes nipping at our noses causing them to turn red and become as cold as ice. The absence of summer’s birdsongs make it almost too eerie to stay outside but we have hide and seek to keep us busy. I am content to be outside until darkness begins to close in around us because I have the king of the hill by my side.

The memory of another fall day comes into focus. I see a tow-haired boy about two years old running through a pile of leaves. His giggles rising above the sound of an approaching train. He is dressed in red overalls and a white turtle neck. His speech is filled with the sounds of y as he excitedly tells me to, “do it yike dis.” Suddenly he is transformed into a cowboy and takes off “yiding a buwll” with his arm flailing wildly as his head nods back and forth bucking to the rhythm of the imaginary bull. Slowly the sun begins to set and my heart starts to break as we have to let this day end.

Memories of hayrides with fellow homeschoolers push themselves the the center of my attention. Bowls of warm spicy chili lend us their heat as they fill our stomachs. The sounds of children laughing float down to parent’s ears as the adventurous children climb higher into the rafters of the barn over mounds of fresh bails of hay. Sweet songs and giggles dance into the night as a tractor pulls a wagon loaded with families nestled in sweet fresh hay. All too soon this day is over and reluctant children are shooed toward cars and home.

Six years ago we started hosting a Halloween party in our home. We have several special families that have come to our home year after year to celebrate fall with us. A traditional supper of chili and hot dogs is served before we all set out in my neighborhood for a fun night of trick-or-treating. There are special memories being made for adults as well as children. Each year is a little different as one by one our children grow too old to dress up and participate in the ritual of going from house to house gathering candy. This year our kids sat in the floor, sorted their candy, and began trading with each other. I sat and soaked in their energetic giggles and silly comments, knowing that there will never be another Halloween quite like this one.

The last memory comes into my mind in a rush. It is a cool fall evening after dark. Children begin to explore a haunted forest filled with witches and monsters and their screams fill the night. They play hide and seek until one by one parents arrive to retrieve them. This will be the last Halloween of their childhood. The next time Halloween will hold the same excitement will be years in the future when they take their own children trick or treating.

Life has a way of slipping by you if you’re not careful. I find that it’s the little spontaneous moments that keep returning to my mind. As I go through life I pray that I don’t forget to stop and enjoy the simple pleasures a day can bring. They are always there waiting for us to seek them out, if only we will try. Ready or not, here I come!

Just What Every Little Boy Needs

Today was Sweet G’s short therapy day when he only sees his physical therapist, AKA “the mean woman.” G loves her dearly and because of that she bears the brunt of his jokes and abuse. Her job and what it requires G to do is the most difficult physically of all his therapy. G’s legs are the most affected by his cerebral palsy, therefore that is the most difficult and taxing on his body.

Therapy has been ramped up, so to speak, since his tendon lengthening surgery. We are requiring much more from him and he is seeing his PT twice a week instead of once. The surgery has given G so much more range of motion and has eliminated the muscles fighting each other for control. It sort of evened out his muscle tone by lengthening and therefore weakening muscles that have been stretched tight preventing normal movement.

As I wrote in my post a couple of days ago, G has made remarkable progress lately. Today I asked his therapist if we could try him on a bike the clinic has. The bike is a regular bike but has these amazing training wheels that give it perfect stability like a trike. We thought that by adding straps to the pedals and changing the seat to something with a back and straps it might work. Boy were we ever wrong! We put G on the bike, he sat up and said, “Let go, I can do it all by myself.” He had no problem balancing on the regular seat or keeping his feet on the pedals. There was a problem with making it go. His trike is adapted to become hand cranked and he has recently learned to ride his plasma car which propels when you wiggle the steering wheel back and forth so it took us reminding him a few times that wiggling the handlebars does not make it go. He did try so hard to make it move. We were shocked when he stood up on the bike and started saying, “I’m a big man and I can stand up by myself.” As if those things weren’t enough he had to kick things up another notch when we were about to dismount the bike. I noticed that he only had his hands lightly placed on the handlebar so his therapist asked him if he could clap for himself. He steadied himself, took his hands off for a brief second a couple of times and then he took them off completely and gave himself a round of applause. There were a lot of happy people in that gym today.

So, I bet you can’t guess where we went when therapy was over! If you guessed a bike shop a mere three blocks from therapy you are right. I thought that might be best since he kept insisting we borrow the one from the clinic. When I told him we couldn’t he replied simply, “We can bring it back before anyone misses it.” After all every little boy needs a bike.

Triathalon

Recently Sweet G participated in a triathalon for kids that is held annually in or hometown. It was a very tiring but wonderful experience for us all. Typically the kids do everything independently but they have a special heat for children with disabilities and they are allowed any assistance necessary. For Sweet G that included someone to swim with him; someone to transfer him dripping wet into his wheelchair; someone to dry him and put his race shirt, socks, AFOs, and shoes on his still damp body; someone to wheel him through a crowd of cheering spectators; someone to put him onto his trike, and put his helment on; someone to walk alongside him and steer the trike as he hand pedaled; someone to carry his walker to a designated spot on the running course; someone to transfer him from the trike back into the wheelchair; someone to run while pushing him; someone to help him transfer out of his chair and into his walker for the last few yards of the run; and someone to cheer him on when he crossed the finish line.

For G there were several someones. A therapist swam with him, his Dad picked him up out of the pool, his brother along with his Dad and I dried him and dressed him, his Dad pushed him through the screaming fans as his brother and I followed, Dad put him on the trike, we all took turns helping him guide the trike, I carried the walker to the designated spot, Dad transferred him to his chair, his brother loaded the trike in the car, his physical therapist pushed him through the run and transferred him to his walker so he could finish the race independently, and we were all there (along with many others) cheering as a proud little boy crossed the finish line. His biggest concerns during the race were if his brother captured him “drowning” (face going underwater) on video and trying to find out what kind of snacks Ms. Beth had waiting at the finish line. That boy is a corker.

When it was all over and we were driving away he said, “Well, I guess I won that one.” I suppose he forgot being passed by a little girl on the bike portion and the girl going around him two yards short of the finish line! Everyone in his heat received medals which is probably why he thinks he won and afterall it is appropriate since they are all champions.

Sleeping in a Stranger’s Bed

For the last six weeks I have slept in the bed with my husband a total of two nights. One of those nights was while on vacation and we had Sweet G snuggled between us so it really doesn’t count. I became quite comfortable with my nightly routine and the setup I had arranged in G’s room. I didn’t realize how accustomed I had become until last night.

As I laid down sleep evaded me. I found myself feeling oddly out of place in my own bed. You see, during the weeks I spent in G’s room my husband let our bedroom become a bachelor pad of sorts. Shoes tucked in odd places, clean clothes laid across every available horizontal surface, dresser piled with receipts. He has been busy working and has been a tremendous help around the house but since I have been absent from our bedroom he had allowed things to become disorganized to a point that I don’t feel comfortable with.

I didn’t realize that those things were going to bother me until J was fast asleep. As I lay there my mind drifted to another time and place when I experienced the same feeling. The first time I remember feeling this way was almost 27 years ago on the first night of our marriage. You see, I am a night owl and J is not. I realized that quickly on our wedding night. Joey is like Pavlov’s dog when he comes in contact with a bed. Bed means sleep. I however require several hours of wind down time of reading or watching tv before I can relax and go to sleep. I remember laying there for the very first time in my life with a man snoring softly beside me. It was an eyeopening experience. I faintly remember crying and wishing I was at home with my night owl mom watching the George and Gracie Show.

That is somewhat how last night started out. Here I was trying to be quiet, relax, and go to sleep and instead all I could do is stare at the walls. I will never know how long it would have taken me to fall asleep because G called out and I ended up sleeping with him again. Tonight before turning in I managed to declutter much of the bachelor pad before getting into bed. I am feeling much more at home in my room than I did last night, I am much more tired tonight, so maybe I will be able to fall sound asleep as soon as I publish this post. Good night, sleep tight, and I will let you know how my night was tomorrow.