You find the “Best People” at church

“Quit griping about your church; if it were perfect, you couldn’t belong.”
~ Msgr. Joseph P. Dooley, Martins Creek, Pennsylvania

Before you get all up in arms at me, you need to hear me out. I’m not saying people at church are better. Far from it. They (we) are the sinners. They are the people who just can’t seem to get it right, no matter how hard they try. Their humanness shows through. They are the drinkers (or former drinkers), womanizers, gamblers, food addicts, drug addicts, shopaholics, gossips, lazy good for nothings. Just like you and me!

One of the coolest things about the Happy Family Trailer Park (HFTP) church is…if we get divorced…we’re all still cousins!

At our little HFTP church, we frequently have services out on the porch of Trailer #3. The reason we have church there is due to the following reasons. First, it’s convenient as hell. Nobody has to dress up. It’s basically come as you are. And we do. I’m not kidding…you should see some of the tacky crap these people wear! (stick poking) We don’t wear fancy clothing. Jeans and t-shirts are the soup de jour. There are those who wear their pajamas. Yes, Really! In fact, just wear what you would wear to Wal-Mart on any given day…and you’ll fit right in! I’m not kidding one iota.

Second, everybody drinks coffee, tea, Diet Coke, Pepsi (once much to the pastor’s chagrin), Monsters, McDonald’s beverage of choice and we eat donuts. Or we bring our own fast foods in. On any given morning, you are likely to see McMuffins, Breakfast Biscuits, Taquitos or the occasional pizza (Thank you! BillandMarthaNeidermeyer) from the night before. (stick poking) Hey! Pizza is a breakfast food. So is chocolate cake! (Thank you Mawdine!)

Third, we sit at tables and we talk to each other! I know what you’re thinking!

Git out!

Nobody does that at church. Especially NOT the Best People. Yeah, well, come and see if I’m a liar or not. We talk, we argue, we even have the occasional ‘church purse throwdown’ with Chlorine. (again, stick poking) You never know.

And finally, the reason we have church on the porch of Trailer #3, is because we currently don’t have a building. Oh yes, there are plans for one. It’s been in the planning for 10 years now. Yes, Virginia, that is a really long time! But the pastor is of the mind-set that these things cannot be rushed…Much like the saying, “Ladies, if a man says he will do something, he will. There is no sense nagging him about it every 6 months!” (final stick poke) As optimistic as I am, I’m certain it will happen one day. But don’t miss the point here…’the church’ isn’t ‘a church’…it’s the people within. The Best People.

These are the people, unlike all those people with addictive behaviors you are used to surrounding yourself with who ‘say’ they’re gonna show up and do something to help you…well, these people actually do show up!

With zeal!

And not only do they show up when they say they’re gonna show up…they come in force, and they bring pizzas or burgers and beverages! (And the occasional pair of socks!” 😉 Sometimes, all the way to Moore, Oklahoma!

And they bring what we call around here in the Trailer Park, ‘mis-fit-ness.’ Knowing full well they could be judged for their differences, they just put it all out there on the clothes line to air it out. Like my friend Ms. Sugarbaker says, “Honey, we don’t’ lock up our crazies in the attic and hide them. We parade them out on the porch for everyone to see.” Because, you see, in our park, we are all just a bunch of ‘misfit toys.’ Sort of like the movie Santa Claus is Coming to Town, only with some really funky issues.

And the cool thing is, We don’t care how misfit you are; we just want to celebrate together. Use each other’s weaknesses to help make others stronger. And occasionally, we poke each other with a stick and use it against each other for fun because we’re human and we can!

So, if you have time on Sunday, and you don’t have any ‘Sunday-Go-To-Meeting-Clothes’, but you’ve just bought you some cute new pajamas pants at the Wal-Mart, consider sporting them to over to trailer #3. Where you will find the Best People.

While suggestive of actual events, this above written information is pure fiction and entirely the Gospel truth according to Nadine Bodine, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the United States Government or Renewed Life Church of Arlington, Texas or its board members; but probably does reflect the opinions of some of the mis-fits in attendance.

All character names have been invented through the talent and wit of Ms. Nadine and are most likely reflective of years of oxygen deprivation to her brain.

A variety of sources were called upon, up to and including, the Warren Commission, 9-1-1 Commission reports, U.S. Senate and House filibusters, the Globe AND the Star, personal mis-fit eye-witness accounts and/or Facebook confessions.

Suggestively submitted by your very best friend in the whole entire world,

Nadine Bodine

Aka/Malika Nadine of the Happy Family Danat Desert Resort Trailer Park

Git yer butts to church, ya’ll!

Daddy and the Go-Go’s

Daddy 042610Daddy n his scooter<

The following is an account of text messages over a few years between my dear departed Daddy and myself. True to my alter Trailer Park self, I am a packrat and don’t throw away ANYTHING! Including text messages that might someday be useful. Below, please find a loving tribute to my father and his Amazing imagination and sense of humor.

Daddy-Have you met my new Go-Go’s?
Daddy- Their names are Ebony and Caldonia? They are African Americans.
Me- Daddy, we’re all Americans. That term is no longer P.C. Ok, they’re black. Shock factor over. Where did ya’ll meet?
Daddy-Are you kidding me?
Me- Why would I kid about something like that?
Daddy-Because you’re a kid! So, we met at the meeting place. (Which was Daddy, for drop it.)
Me- Ok. Fine. Daddy.

A few days later, now I get that he has an agenda….

Daddy- I have two new Go-Go’s.
Me- Alert the media.
Daddy – Their names are Okey and Dokey. They are from Mexico. They are Mexican Nationals. I picked them up at high tide. Surf's Up. Gotta go!

Even later still, while he was on a self-induced time out ride to New Mexico…

Daddy- Hey Kid! Got a couple more Go-Go’s!
Me- Ok, now what? Where are you anyway?
Daddy- I’m in Taos, just left the reservation. Picked up Nava-ho and Arapa-ho!
Me-Bahahahahaha…I’m telling Mam-maw.
Daddy- You’d better not! I’ve got stuff on you too, and I know where you live.
Me- Be careful out there….all those “ho’s” might roll you for you wallet.

And then, just a week later…

Daddy- Got me two more!
Me- Uh-huh.
Daddy-Was over at the Chen-Chen Mandarin Buffet and Chinese Laundry when two girls, Yin and Yang, walked up to me and asked if they could be my Go-Go’s!
Me-Turn up your hearing aide, Garry, What they really said was, “Do you want us to call the Po-Po?!” You crazy old biker.
Daddy-No, really. They’ve heard about my reputation.
Me-Everyone has heard about your reputation, Daddy. That’s why you’re still single. That many women can’t possibly be wrong.
Daddy-That was hurtful, and unnecessary. But true. Touche’.
Me-Well, don’t expect me to call ANY of them Mama!

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier…

Daddy – Well, now the circle is complete. I’ve got me a couple more.
Me- If you mean a couple more Go-Go’s, I’m gonna say, “NO!” cause your trailer park has set a limit to the number of Go-Go’s you can have on the premises. Didn’t you read the Home Owner’s Agreement?
Daddy- Not a problem. I’ve just opened up the International House of Go-Go’s for Wayward Go-Go’s, Ho-Ho’s and Ding-Dongs.
Me- Great! At least I know you’ll be in good company during your retirement years. Who you gonna get to fund this “adventure?”
Daddy-Well old Biker’s like me! You know you can always pass the hat at a rally and collect enough to save any lost soul. We’re always good to give to the Underdog.
Me- True dat. So What’s their names?
Daddy-A couple of Southern Belles this time, Trixie and Dixie. The South’s gonna rise again!
Me-Yeah, well, Not unless it’s the ‘second coming’…you get my drift?!

And finally…Let the games continue…

Daddy-You know it’s almost football season, right?
Me-Is the Pope Catholic, Daddy? And you call yourself my father. Who ARE you? You know I live and breathe high-school, college and professional football all weekend long.
Daddy-I was just over at Central Market…the place looks like someone threw up purple pepto-bismol.
Me-Do tell.
Daddy-Found me a couple of Sorority cuties, named Coco and Chanel. TCU hotties. They are in law school and wanna change the world, but right now they dance to pay the tuition bills.
Me-Dad! T.C.U. doesn’t have a law program, it’s a liberal arts college. Don’t you think they’re a little “young” for your entourage anyway? And T.C.U.? Really, Daddy? Are you trying to Kill me?
Daddy-Oh don’t worry about it…I’m headed down to Austin next. Gonna get a couple of Longhorn gals and then on to College Station for some Aggies! A separate group of Go-Go’s just in time for Friday Night Lights.
Me- You are out of control. I’m calling the 90-year-old!

R.I.P. Daddy. We miss you! <3<3<3+

Your favorite child (and very best friend in the whole wide world),


Modine and the Horny Toads


There is flattery in friendship.
William Shakespeare
(Henry V 3.7.102), Constable to Orleans

Following a late night, for her, early morning, for me, Facebook conversation with one of my dearest and oldest friends Modine, I am once again awed by the fact that friendship continues to thrive through many hardships, separations (a mere 8,000+ miles) and Texas football team disputes.

We have realized that life or football cannot keep us from communicating or making plans for the future. I love it that it is still ‘Old Home Week’ even after a life-imposed communication hiatus’.

Tongue in cheek, we have always said we will be walking arm in arm at the nursing home, purses dangling from the free arm in our ‘golden’ retirement years.

Today, as we jested and made plans for a duplex living arrangement, I learned a few things I did not know about Ms. Modine. Always a fierce lion-like Momma, she bared her teeth at Me upon mention that I am not a fan of the “frog.”

For those of you not native to Texas, and even worse still, Fort Worth, proudly pronounced “Foat Wuth,” by the natives, the “frog” to which I refer is the proud mascot of the overpriced private hometown college, otherwise known as Texas Christian University. And before all you alumnae and “frog lovers” start your commentary and rant, just remember, this is my opinion, and my blog.

To continue, Ms. Modine has recently sold her massive triple-wide trailer and downsized to a single-wide rental trailer in the purplest part of the town. And like my oldest and bestest friend Maybelline, within the million dollar trailer park zip code of the Bass Brothers. She is smack dab within walking distance to my favorite store in the entire world, Central Market. While she may be having trouble finding a place to store 3 different sizes of Crock Pots, and who wouldn’t? She loves it!

She explained she wanted to rent a while to make sure she likes the area. Makes total sense to me, even though I wasn’t consulted about the decision. Didn’t need to be. Whatever makes her happy…makes me happy. We’re like that in the Happy Family Trailer Park. But if you don’t like them, aren’t happy, wanna throw up your hands and walk out….then WE don’t like them, aren’t happy and have got your back.

So, in our little plan for a retirement duplex, I tell her I can imagine she will have little purple and white petunias and cutsie little TCU flags adorning her size of the walkway….while my side will be a Blaze of Burnt Orange. Cut me and I’ll bleed burnt orange.

She pokes back at me that the only burnt orange flowers she has ever seen are “dead.”

Funny lady. I suppose she has never heard of Chrysanthemums, Day Lillies… or spray paint? All of my containers are burnt orange, aka terra cotta.

So, while we make plans for our ‘golden’ or ‘jeweled purple’ or ‘burnt orange’ years we can still agree to disagree about a few more things and remain friends to the end.

God Bless ya’ll’s little purple-infused hearts.


The Six Month Rule

Ginger 2
Jose’, my husband and I have a Double Wide Trailer Park House rule…if it’s more than six months old and it is painful or hurtful, you’re not allowed bring it up. Forget it! It never happened.

However, (sing it like the church lady)…. if it’s funny, delightful, insightful or entertaining…then tell the story as many times as you want!

Good rule.

Since we’ve both been through some nasty divorce break-ups and there is enough drama and tears to fill an entire ocean. The six month rule has literally saved our marriage.

A few months back, while shopping at the mall for him some “birthday shoes,” he starts pulling me towards a Crocs store. Now, I know what you’re gonna say. They’re great! They’re comfortable! They’re durable! They’re a good value!…whatever. Without any disrespect to my homosexual male friends, I think they’re effeminate as hell for straight men to wear outside of the hospital setting. Period.

At my query, “Don’t you think they’re a little effeminate?” followed by “Ok, we’ll go in and look,” my husband scoffs and pulls me the other direction. Ok, it’s my opinion…and now I’ve got to endure 6 months of this story because he felt hurt. Please Hurry September!

Same story for the flying water bottle. As he walked across the hotel room we currently live in, I pitched an empty water bottle at him…hit him in the neck. Perfect aim. Oh Lord, you would think I had hit him in the head. What he didn’t realize, while he was whining like a 4 year old, was that I initially planned to nail him between the eyes, but at the last minute, thought better of it and hit him in the neck. Ok…another 6 months in the hole. Dammit.

But here’s one of the good ones! It’s about my ex…and it’s funny as all get out. At least my Momma, Mawdine, thinks so.
Once upon a time, in a marriage, far, far away…..We once had a little ginger colored miniature daschund named appropriately, Ginger.

She barked.

A lot.


The wind, a blowing leaf, her own fart. She was in the back yard barking and it was on my very last nerve.

The shock collar we had purchased didn’t seem to affect her barking at all. So, I removed it from the dog with the idea of changing the battery…it MUST be the battery, I reasoned.

As I laid the collar on the kitchen counter I simultaneously answered a phone call, the call of the dryer, and the call of an 8 year old with a skinned knee. The dog barking the entire time! Frustrated and angry at the barking dog, I barked at my ex as he entered the door to do “something” about that dog!

As he inspected the shock collar, I stated the batteries must be out and needed changing because the dog continued to bark with the collar in place.

Before I knew it….he picked up the shock collar, placed it to his own neck…and barked twice!

His eyes got the size of saucers as he flung the collar across the kitchen floor and said expletives that would make a sailor blush.

He was drooling and holding his neck and screaming at me for letting him do that!

Immediately, I fell into laughter as did our daughter at the ridiculousness of his rant and the whole situation.

He grumbled off to the back yard to place the collar back on the dog…which, once again, had no effect.

I still laugh every time I get a chance to tell this story.

No six month rule in place. Touché’.

A letter from Jose’

An exchange with Eloy while he was in Iraq….04/22/2009…

Dear Jose Jalapeno (on a stek!)

Just wanted to touch base with you and let you know how things are back here at the Happy Family Trailer Park.

We’re coming upon the planting season and the fall gardens are falling into place along with a whole plethora of yard art! The people across the street have acquired some really fascinating barrels that they have made into the coolest obstacle course! How I wish you could see it!

The guy next door, we call him “Walter,” has started putting the heads of all his squirrel kills along the fence row…very nice.
He says he wants to send a message to the other rats with tails out there.

I don’t think its working, cause his collection is growing and he has more notches on his belt…you’re gonna have to play catch up Big Time when u get home!!!

So far, we don’t have any more kids having kids…like I said, so far.

Daddy is still on the wagon for the liquor…but he’s fallen off, again, for the cigs!

Momma n them are still planning some kind of reunion thingie…but I’m hoping our invitation will be lost in the mail. I know we’re related to some of them people…Is it a sin to hate your family reunions guts? I hope not…bunch of little- headed, big- eared East Texas Rednecks. I love them all, truly, not sarcasm.

The 91 ½ year old is still driving…has her little route all mapped out…

only makes right turns.

Thank You Jesus!!!

But the 16 year old is hell on wheels!!! Don’t worry about those ruts in the yard…they’ll wash out/fill in with the spring rains, I’m sure of it!

Me? Well, I’m weighin in at about 210…found those pounds you’ve lost…but don’t worry a lick honey, cause I’ll have u fat and sassy with all my home cookin in NO time! Not to mention all the Cervezas you can drink!

I love you more than my Harley baby!

Hurry home!

Your (not so little) bride and very best friend in the whole wide world,

Nadine Bodine…

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:47 PM
To: Pam Vinton
Subject: RE: News from home
Hum, 210?… more to love. To the squirrel hunt…he must be stocking up for the summer.
And well, I’m glad the kids aren’t making more kids…
Love you too!

I Can Do All Things

We live by three things, pretty much, in the South. God. Guns. And Rock and Roll.

Oh yes, there are lots of other staples and traditions that go along with being all things Southern. Plenty of things to talk or write about. But those three are in the top 40.

So each morning I wake, fix coffee and read two daily devotionals. Everyday.  I’m not tellin you this to brag, I’m tellin you this because it is the ONLY way I can make it through the day. And since my good friend from high school, Vicki, and my Momma, Mawdine, read one of the same ones, I get it reinforced all through the day through Facebook postings and email conversations. How nice. (Not said in the usual tacky way.)

Due to “circumstances way beyond our control”, the perfect little job I thought I had landed is now less than perfect.

Therefore; All that glitters, in the UAE, is not gold, Nadine.

So relax. Enough said…move on. I’m a Registered Nurse, right? I can work anywhere, right? Of course I can…but here again lies a HUGE challenge. And to think, I thought, this whole idea was gonna be so easy. A couple of years…in and out…and then a beautiful life back home in the Happy Family Trailer Park.


This morning, my devotional read stated…and I quote, “WELCOME CHALLENGING TIMES as opportunities to trust Me.” (Ok, God. Thank you for this opportunity, See? I’m waking up grateful! Keep reading.)

 “You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle.” (Enter Tawanda.)

“When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against those challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety.” (Ya think?!)

“Without Me, you wouldn’t make it past the first hurdle!” (Don’t I KNOW that is right? See why I read this stuff everyday?)….

…”Regardless of the day’s problems, I can keep you in perfect Peace as you stay close to Me.”(Thank Goodness!)…

…and then there are several scriptures from the Bible. One read, “I can do all things, through Christ, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (Now there’s something I can sink my teeth into and carry with me. All. Day.Long.)

Not meaning to “preach from the porch” of Trailer #3, (there is a very good reason we live in #3, explanation to come in later post), but there it is! In black and white. Written in a beautifully leather bound copy that my Momma, Mawdine, gave me. This stuff just literally jumps off the pages at me. Right when I need it.

I really don’t have to write a word.

It writes itself.  

Have a very nice day. (Also NOT said in the sometimes tacky way)

Nadine loves Ya’ll, and Jesus loves Ya’ll!

Your very best friend in the whole entire world,

Nadine Bodine<3<3<3+