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Author Archives: joyinhome

About joyinhome

I am a writer with a background in public relations and issues management. My vision? To inject artistry into everyday prose. Professionally, my mission is to lend expertise to causes that could have a significant social impact and have models that can be replicated to address issues such as healthcare, education and fine arts. The goal is to incorporate creativity and passion into branding solutions.

The Answer Is Yes

Steve Kerr talks about elected officials’ responsibility.

I loved Steve Kerr when he played for the Bulls. I love that he uses his platform to speak out. But, to answer your question Steve, it is a resounding YES. Legislators are and have been more interested in holding on to their power than to pass any legislation that would curb the ongoing violence in America.

I knew in the aftermath of the slaughter at Sandy Hook that nothing would change. If a classroom of murdered kindergarteners didn’t change hearts and move them into action, nothing would.

 

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Symphony

The jungle of Costa Rica produces a daily symphony.

A howler monkey’s call and response,

Mating calls intertwine with

Trilling lizards,

Thrumming of humming bird wings

And a cricket’s solitary song.

The crescendo of monsoon rain on a tin roof

With the wind as a strong accompaniment

To the bullfrog’s lament into the inky night.

Dissonance of the varieties of tropical birds compete and threaten

The overarching harmony.

Howling dogs

And roosters’ crows

Punctuate the arrangement.

I sit appreciatively,

Awaiting the encore.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2022 in Poetry, Youth

 

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Love Versus Hate

The level of hate that it takes for an 18 year old to shoot a bunch of strangers in a grocery store! WOW… it is mind-numbing…

Radio Raheem with the story of love and hate from Do The Right Thing.

And of course, it’s not the first time. I don’t think people realize what it does to you: the daily reminder that people hate you for a trait that is predetermined. We were born in this skin.

We know what he was being taught at home. The difference it would make if parents taught love versus hate.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2022 in Civil Rights, Family, Race, violence, Youth

 

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I’m a Bibliophile

I’m just gonna say it. Ebooks are not the same! Yes, they are convenient and are getting me through right now… english titles are hard to come by here in Cahuita, Costa Rica.

The current book I’m reading and I’m thankful, even though it’s on my screen.

There’s something about turning a physical page, the weight of the book in my hands, pretty bookmarks and the smell of books that I crave…

I think, as people begin to visit, that will be the toll: books!

Do you have a preference? Ebook or physical book and why?

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2022 in Reflection, writing

 

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Who is Tica Ayoka?

No se. I am unsettled… perhaps that is a poor word choice because I feel amazing! I simply don’t know which direction this new me will take.

I seldom know what day it is and those days speed by in technicolor. We continue to homeschool and my son has now started boxing lessons, twice per week. My schedule is dictated by his activities which is not unusual for a Mom. However, this is the time to carve out my place…

My goal is to truly lean into “pura vida” and know that all is well in time.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2022 in Family, Motherhood, Reflection, women

 

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My Son is 14 Today

Today is my son’s 14th birthday. I have mixed feelings… Of course I am joyous that he is celebrating another year of life. I left the states to ensure that. However, he is a teenager and all that comes with it!

He is a young 14 and still finds joy in simple things. Thank you! And the girl obsession hasn’t kicked in yet, another blessing. But I think as a parent, especially Mothers, we get very nostalgic for their younger, adorable years. SIGH…

 
 

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Welcome to Bedside Baptist

Research on the religious views of Millenials (ages 18 – 33) revealed that a big chunk do not report a religious affiliation: about 29 percent. This is a huge shift from older generations. Younger Americans link organized religion to war and unrest in the world. Obviously they’re paying attention. Most of these young people believe in God but don’t need permission to speak to the Supreme Being and consider it a personal relationship. They identify as being “spiritual” versus “religious.”

These young people also cited intolerance, especially with regard to issues such as same-sex marriage…

I am not in that age bracket (I’m a Gen Xer) however I concur. I have been very vocal about my views on religion, blasting the Catholic church when inspired. I was raised in Catholicism and let’s just say, it doesn’t work for me.

But to be clear, if you practice a religion that fulfills you, strengthens and nourishes you, Be blessed. I’m here for it.

My relationship with God is just that, mine.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2022 in Politics, religion, women, Youth

 

My Grandma Has Alzheimer’s

This year she will be 94 years old. She is in great health, albeit a bit thin. Amy Scroggins is the matriarch of our family. She is the only surviving child of her parent’s 11 children. She raised nine children (seven boys) with my Grandfather in southern Maryland, outliving him and two of their children. She was an avid reader and seamstress and the disciplinarian. She is the great grandmother of 14. And she has Alzheimer’s Disease.

My Grandma and my son last fall.

She was diagnosed in 2020 at the height of the pandemic and shortly after unexpectedly losing a son and granddaughter. There was a rash of erratic behavior then, but then it vanished.

There are moments when her mind slips and she is in another time, detailing the one-room school house that she attended. Or she is telling me that she had a good day except for the spanking that she got… then her mind shifts and she is quiet, trying to reconcile it all.

Grandma and Granddaddy at an event.

My mother and her siblings have a rotating schedule. They stay with her a week at a time so that she can be in her home. It has been rough on them, seeing their mother slip away. Having to help her with the basics as she once did with them. However, she remembers everyone and can walk, talk, eat, breathe and bathe on her own.

There are moments of regression, but they don’t last. Sometimes, she is far away and sad. She knows something is wrong but cannot understand or repair it. She repeats herself frequently in a conversation, but I just listen and agree as if it’s new information.

Grandma at age 20.

I love my Grandma. I am glad she can’t recall some things because she is a strong, proud woman and she would be frustrated and ashamed that she needs this level of assistance, especially from her children.

I know the disease can and will progress. Being so far away from her is my only regret for relocating. But thank goodness for technology.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2022 in Family, Health, Reflection, women

 

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Two years and counting

Breonna Taylor, her mother and her sister smile for the camera.

Twenty-six year old Breonna Taylor was killed in her apartment on March 13, 2020. She and her boyfriend were sleeping when plain-clothes police stormed in with a no-knock warrant. Her boyfriend thought they were intruders and shot one in the leg.

Breonna was shot six times and died on the scene. Never mind the shady circumstances of the warrant… Nobody has been charged with her murder, however one officer was charged with three counts of “wanton endangerment” of the NEIGHBORS. He was found not guilty.

Two jurors have spoken out and said that the jury was never presented with homicide charges against the officers. Other jurors believe that the Kentucky Attorney General (and yes, him being Black makes it worse) and police department are covering up the truth.

BTW – many jurisdictions supposedly outlawed the no-knock warrant since the killing of Breonna Taylor. However, another young, Black person, Amir Locke, was asleep and killed in his Minneapolis apartment while police raided with a no-knock warrant. The Minneapolis mayor had issued a moratorium on such warrants prior to his killing.

I believe that police have the authority to do whatever they want. There are no consequences for killing civilians, especially when they are Black. The use of lethal force is the initial response be it bullets, hands or knees, no matter the circumstances. And it keeps happening.

There is a systemic problem that nobody is truly working to correct. Let ’em march, cry and keep saying their names.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2022 in Civil Rights, Race, Real Talk, violence, women

 

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Stranger Fruit

In 2022, our fruit doesn’t hang from Southern trees. It lies rotting in streets, alleys and fields. We seldom know who plucked the precious fruit… or it goes unpunished.

 

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