I wish I had listened and asked questions more while my mom was still with me. She would giggle like a chid when recalling a funny memory and would get so tickled at herself that she could hardly tell her tale!

 One such story took place in 1946 in Haifa, Palestine before my mom had met my dad who was serving there in the Royal Airforce as a navigator.  From time to time, she would take the Arab bus from Nazareth to Haifa to purchase specific supplies that she could not get in Nazareth, which was a rough and tumble village with few cars and mostly adobe type structures. Even in Haifa, there were still camels and donkeys that came through laden with goods. The merchants would load and unload their cargo in the middle of the market.

Mom was dodging cantankerous camels and braying donkeys, maneuvering her way between make-shift shop fronts with wares spread on camel blankets and piled high in woven baskets. Toting her purse under one arm, and her bundles under the other, she was looking down, concentrating on avoiding the piles of animal dung and unexpected ruts in the road. Suddenly, the hind leg of a nervous camel kicked her in the backside. She face-planted into the littered dirt road, slipping on animal manure and rotting vegetable refuse. Her groceries scattered everywhere, rolling under carts and into the foot traffic of other shoppers, 

In her oral journal she said, “All the men (only men kept the shops) laughed out loud uproariously. They thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen. No one helped me get up or helped me with my packages and groceries.” In recounting her story to me, mom was laughing so hard that tears rolled down her cheeks! I on the other hand, was appalled and asked, “What did you do?”

She answered, “I lay there for a bit thinking someone surely would come and help me up, but no! Bruised, humiliated, and embarrassed, I gathered myself up, slipping and sliding in the muck, straightened my head scarf, adjusted my dress over the pants I wore for modesty according to the culture, gathered up as much of the wayward packages as I could and walked back to the bus stop, climbed aboard, and rumbled home. What else could I do?”

That’s a typical mom answer!

As I’m writing this story, I’m remembering all the times I face-planted in 2022! Visualize with me and recount all the ways you’ve been unexpectedly kicked and landed in a proverbial pile of dung. Did you wallow in it? Did you whine and cry waiting for an expectant hero to come save you? Or did you muster up the strength and courage to get yourself up and trudge home?

We have to do the hard work ourselves. We can’t lay in “it” bemoaning our predicament or else the filth will suffocate us. We can’t lay in “it” belly-aching about the mean-spirited “camel” who kicked us.

Enough with being the victim!  Seek help, and if no help is to be found, pick yourself up, wipe off the “filth,” adjust your “clothes,” and go home. Your “face-plants” of 2022 will become the fodder for future stories to tell your children and grandchildren for their amusement and maybe, just maybe, their edification as well.


Are you still face down in the middle of the road?

They had 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.

Ezra 2: 66-67

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