Saturday night there was an exhibition program with World Champion Billiard Trick Shot Artist Mike Massey at our local Trick Shots.  He is on television and has been in movies as well.  Trick Shots is five minutes from home and that is where we play league pool.  John wanted to go up and watch so I agreed.  I knew who Mike Massey was but never really watched any of his competitions on TV.

Mr. Massey put on a terrific show.  He has a fantastic way of making the audience a part of the show.  He brings audience members up to execute the shots he sets up.  I was the first one to be selected.  He asked who in the audience were members of APA (American Pool Association) and then asked who was a 2 (handicap).  I thought he was doing a type of handicap roll call or I would not have raised my hand.  In the spirit of honesty, which my blog is really about, I am going to try to post the videos our friend Toni took of this.  You get to see me in all my glory. It was so much fun.  (Have not been able to post video here but it is on my Facebook page if you want to see it.  Marilyn Weinar Polson if you want to friend me.)

Mr. Massey entertained, taught and demonstrated so much in the three hour program.  Not once did he say one off color word.  He encouraged as he taught, was willing to shoot a rack with anyone, skill level made no difference, he treated everyone the same.  During the break, he offered to sign autographs for $2.00 each.  He donates all the proceeds to a local homeless charity.    

One of his trick shots he set up, the ball ends up rolling into an open paper bag which tips the bag over and the ball rolls into the pocket.  He gave me the paper bag after the shot was complete.  I asked him to sign the bag for me. 

A lot of my friends do not understand why I would want play pool and hang out in pool halls, especially with the difficult part alcohol has played in my life.  I have always said that I felt called to be there.  Whenever I try to separate myself from it I am always drawn back.  I listen to people’s stories and offer to pray for them.  I do not give this lip service, I really do pray.  When I ask people how their issues are improving, they are usually surprised that I even remembered.  My spiritual calling is in these places, not in a church environment.

Imagine my surprise when Mr. Massey signed my paper bag:

To Marilyn Jesus Loves Us Mike Massey May 29, 2010

He has found a way to incorporate his faith into his program by the way he conducts himself.  His choice of words, donation to local charities and even his autographs speak his faith in a non-aggressive manner.  We each have a different calling.  I am more comfortable with mine every day.   I don’t have to understand why I am there, I just have to continue on the path I am called.  God provides me with everything I need, even a new role model.



John and I decided on a weekend of togetherness.  I have been complaining about no quality time together, spending too much time playing/practicing pool.  I thought it was time to just reconnect.

Friday evening I asked John if he would help me wax my car.   I get it waxed when I go through the car wash but it is three years old and needed a good wax job.   Saturday morning in my zombie like trance, I take the dog out back to do her business and John starts telling me all these instructions in order to get the car washed and waxed early, before the heat of the day.  Rosie and I are both looking at him through one eye, wondering why he is talking this early. 

I do fully understand that I asked John to help me so he gets to make the rules.  I don’t necessarily like it but I honor it.  I wash the car as instructed and, showing what a good sport I am, I washed his SUV as well.  John is supervising my work and helping me get the spots too high for me to reach.  He gives me stuff to clean the windows, inside and out, plus the wheels and tires.  We have to do it “right”. 

John brings out a big bag of rags and a bucket full of bottles.  First we have to towel dry the car, which John kindly does.  I am hot and have already had two bottles of water.  Rosie, who will stand by me through thick and thin, willingly went back into the house.  It is hot and there is water, she is over it.  Now we start with the wax.  I am to take my side of the car and rub the wax on and then after it dries, wipe it off.  I KNEW that, but I don’t argue, I do as instructed.  I think of the original Karate Kid movie, wax on – wax off and smile.  The hood is now done and I am already bored with this activity.  John keeps me focused and I get my side of the car done.  I am thinking how proud I am that we saved $25 doing this job ourselves. 

Out comes the next bottle, we have to put a coat of something else over what we just did.  More wax on wax off.  No longer smiling.  My arms are starting to hurt and it is hotter.  I need more water, John pushing me along.  Finish my side, done.  Nope.  Bottle number three comes out.  You have GOT to be kidding.  This is a spritz that goes on, of course, gets wiped in, and wiped off.   John is very proud of how beautiful the car looks and you can see the sparkle in the paint.  I just want to get out of the heat.  $25 is cheap for a wash and wax, I won’t EVER do this again.

Since John was such a “peach” to help me out, I treat him to lunch.  Where does he want to go?  Sushi.  Great, euuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.    But I suck it up and to sushi we go.  He is very happy and the place wasn’t that bad, lunch cost $28.  Now I am $3 in the hole.  I make him to go Bloomingdales with me to buy a baby gift for the neighbors.  He fusses at me over the cost of the gift. 

John decides he wants to go to IKEA.  We have never been so it is an adventure.  Five minutes into it, I am on sensory overload, ready to scream and cannot find the exit anywhere.  I want to go home.  I have had enough of this togetherness stuff. 

Next weekend I will do something on my own.  Anyone want to go shopping?


I have been feeling blue lately, depressed, lethargic and pretty miserable to be around.  I hate it when I get that way; it isn’t the norm for me.  Plus, when I am feeling blue, I am pretty good about doing the “chin up” thing and moving past it. When I get down enough that it really shows, I know I am in trouble.

There is no reason at all for the depression, meaning nothing bad or sad is going on in my life.  Family life fine, work good, no major financial issues, life is normal for me.  I did change my diet, yet again, but that is almost normal for me too.  This time I gave up dairy products so maybe my body is missing some of those hormones that are injected into cows. 

I was so miserable I couldn’t stand myself.  I decided to pray about it, last resort stuff.  I asked God to speak to me through a trusted source so that I could hear what I needed to hear.  My trusted source didn’t know that she was speaking for God; that tends to intimidate people if I tell them in advance.  This process always works for me, I listen different and don’t discount what I don’t want to hear.

Through this process, I admitted I don’t much like pool.  I play pool with John to please him.  It is time for us together, doing something other than watching TV.  That is a good thing.  Plus, I am a rescuer of others and the pool hall is a playground of lost souls for me.  (an entirely different blog on this topic!)  Taking responsibility for myself, I am the one who suggests we go practice regularly, just to get out of the house and do something.  The path of least resistance. 

When John and I practice pool, he tries to teach me to play better.  When I don’t want to learn, I take every suggestion as criticism.  It feels to me like the nightly battles with my dad to eat vegetables.  I am not going to do it and the harder I am pushed the deeper I dig in my heels.

I also found out that I have slowly stopped doing the things that I really enjoy like my weekly spiritual meetings and yoga.  I give the excuse that I am too tired but really I am just being lazy.  It is easier to stay home and veg.  I need my cup filled up since I insist on emptying it every chance I get.

Amy Grant has a wonderful new song out “Better Than A Halleluiah” that I love.   The chorus is:

We pour out our miseries

God just hears a melody

Beautiful, the mess we are

The honest cries of breaking hearts

Are better than a Halleluiah

When I pray honestly, amazing things happen in my life.  I love it that God loves the mess I am.  It helps me to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep my eyes on Him.


This is by far the hardest blog I have written.  Trying to write about Mom and capture her personality is more difficult than I thought.  There are many sides to her, the wife and mother, the fun party girl, the money manager, career woman.  She was also very creative, making crafts that I didn’t appreciate when I was young, sewing and crocheting.   My cousin Pat told us that Mom was the first one to come to a family gathering with a cake made from a box mix.   Can you imagine? 

Back in the 60’s, when Dad worked in Sanford, he used to bring home garbage cans full of fresh cucumbers and mom would make dill pickles out of them.  They were the best pickles ever.  She would pickle them whole and we would wrap them in a napkin to eat.  I remember riding my bike and eating pickles.  When I went to my 20th High School reunion the biggest question I was asked was if mom still made pickles!  I was humbled, believe me!

Zellwood corn season was around the end of May and Dad would come home with bushels of corn.  I remember being in the back yard and helping Mom par boil the corn and remove it from the husks.  It would be put into freezer bags so we would have sweet Zellwood corn all year long.  It was a fun project and another one of those things that we don’t bother with anymore. 

When I was in 6TH grade we had a Christmas play.   That was back in the time when you were allowed to celebrate Christmas in public schools.  There was a scene that needed a donkey and mom made a costume out of dad’s old work pants.  The donkey was the hit of the show, partially because of the costume and partially because of the two boys in the costume.  It was hysterical.

Mom always did the cooking for her family.  I do not remember learning how to cook at all.  I am sure part of that was because I was never interested in learning, but I think the kitchen was her territory.  She planned meals carefully and was proud to tell people that we had meat for dinner every night.  We were never poor enough to have to eat beans.  It’s funny that when dad learned to cook and took over, red beans and rice was one of our favorite meals.  Dad always said mom cooked the first 25 years and he would cook the rest.  I have never been sure if she liked that arrangement or not but she didn’t argue it either.

Mom does not believe in pots and pans on the dinner table.  There is always serving dishes and a properly set table.  She has many sets of dishes because she likes to change things up.  They don’t have to be expensive, just different.   She loves pretty dishes and gets a lot of stuff from garage sales.  We kids joke that we will not have a clue what is an heirloom and what is from a garage sale. 

Mom was a stickler for teaching us kids to do the right thing.  We were required to write thank you letters to people for gifts.  If we couldn’t write the letter, we couldn’t have the gift.  She would ask me what my conscience was telling me and when I was wrong, she would make me apologize.  There was no getting away with stuff with her.  She was a tough when it came to that stuff.

 I remember her saying that she could not afford to have migraines, she could only afford a headache.   Or one of my very favorites, “If I’m not there, they will have someone to talk about”. 

Mom started working when I was in the 7th grade.  At first she was a substitute teacher at Bear Lake Elementary, where Patti went to school.  Later she branched out to different Elementary Schools.   One year she taught the same class almost the entire year when the teacher was out on medical leave.  After that, she was offered a full time job in the schools office.  She retired from Seminole County Schools in 1990 I think. 

Mom and Dad travelled all over the world and when I asked her which trip was her favorite, she said London with no hesitation.  It didn’t surprise me, somehow that just seemed right.  When they travelled, as a souvenir, they bought two champagne glasses from each country they visited.  It was something special, something elegant and something they would use.  She never needed a dozen of anything, just two, one for her and one for Dad.  

That is how it always was, Mom and Dad.  They loved to dance and went dancing all the time.  At first you would think that Dad was the one that loved it and Mom just went along, but that was not true.  Mom loved it too.   All you had to do was watch them dance and you knew they loved it equally and they loved each other.

Mom crochets lap afgans and donates them to the VFW to take to the VA hospitals.  She enjoys making the afgans and does it for her pleasure.  She never wants any recognition or money for what she does.  When she is watching TV, she is always “fixing” as her granddaughter calls it.

It is hard to talk about Mom and not include Dad.  I can’t seem to think of one without the other.   Mom is always there.  She quietly goes about her business, doesn’t call much attention to herself, she just is.  And I love her very much.  Happy Mother’s Day Mom.