Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Sharetown Story

There once was a peaceful little town that sat at the edge of the sea. The salt air smelled fresh and clean. The sun shone bright and danced on the surface of the water. The sky was bright blue, without a cloud. Flowers bloomed in brilliant colors. It was a happy place.

The residents of  the small township of Sharetown were friendly and cordial. They smiled as they met in passing. They waved at the folks going past their homes and they spoke kindly to one another. They met together often, sharing stories and spinning their yarns.  All lived in harmony in their quiet little town, sharing what they had with one another. 

One day something strange happened. The sky was still blue, but there were some gray spots that floated against the backdrop, casting shadows on the earth below. The town folk watched to see what this was all about.  Soon, there were more spots, and the sky was over taken with gray. There were no longer shadows.  The people looked at one another, wondering what this new thing was. Very soon, they knew.

A stranger had entered the area. He had a loud, booming voice. He looked like a dragon and his name was EGO. He belched smoke from his mouth, and with every puff of smoke, color was stolen from the town. The town looked as if a big fog had rolled in off the sea.  At first the people tried to be friendly to the stranger, but he took the spinning wheels from them and spun yarns of his own.... long, bland, colorless threads.  They tried to deal with him, but he would not have it. He came in and out of the town whenever he chose to, and when he was there,  the people hid on him. They  went into their homes and lived their lives, always aware that the dragon was around. They met in each others homes and secret rooms, trying to come up with a plan that would allow harmony and peace to return to their little village. 

EGO put his nose up to the windows, attempting to see into each life that lived inside.  He strutted in the streets, roaring his head off.  With every deep breath, he grew larger.  With every puff of smoke, another tail would grow.  Soon EGO was so big  he couldn't see inside the windows. All he could see was himself. He would primp and prance in front of his reflection thinking he was so impressive.

The townspeople made a secret pact. They would  lure him with a huge mirror, placed just outside the gates of town.  They would convince him that he should take a better look at himself in that mirror. It worked!  Once  EGO saw himself in that large looking glass,  he huffed and puffed and strutted, and grew even larger!  Soon he was so big that he couldn't see all of himself in the new mirror!

The townspeople went back inside the gates and bolted them shut! The knew that EGO had grown so large that he couldn't fit through the gate, even if it was unlatched. He couldn't fit inside their town! EGO was outside! They could ignore his huffing and puffing!  Then the people realized something else. The air turned clean and clear again. The sky was blue and the sun shone on the sea. The flowers were brilliant colors again!  The people could live in peace and harmony once more!

They danced and sang and had a big party in celebration!  And life in Sharetown, at the edge of the sea, was happy once more.

Moral of the story: Sometimes what you think of yourself can give people a bad impression. If you want to fit in with others, make an effort not to take over.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sun Room

It's chilly in the sun room this morning. It's that time of year when the days later and cooler and then warm up to a comfortable temperature. It's that wonderful season when the air conditioner has been turned off, the doors and windows are flung open for the fresh air to flow freely through the house, and the heat is not turned on yet.  I love this time of year.

It is the time where we begin preparations for the winter....putting outside furnishings away, cleaning up the gardens, having the heating unit checked and serviced. For me, it's also a time of removing things from the sun porch, where I work all Spring and Summer on my craft items. Soon it will be time to close the doors that attach this room to the kitchen, for the temperatures in the unheated space get too cold to spend much time there.  We do open it again for our winter gatherings with family, but we do that days ahead of time so that it warms with the heat from the house or from the frequent use of the oven.   We do have an electric fireplace too, with adjustable temperature control which heats a crowded room enough to be comfortable.

I really miss this room, though, in the winter. It is my favorite room in the house. It's so light and bright and comfortably furnished for sitting, eating, crafting. I could live in this room. Since it is almost a 4 season room, but not quite, I see little reason to add heat to it at this point. The sun room will soon be cleaned well, and closed up, but will be opened again a few days before Christmas for the incoming family.   Ahhhh, well, the living will be done in the room intended for such action....the living room!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Things That Make You Want To Say ' Hmmmmm'

There are many mysteries in life. I would be the first to say that some of them aren't worth investigation, nor further commentary.   There are other illusive facts which, in order to satisfy a curious mind, must be searched for.  Other questions often bring answers of their own, in due time, without doing much more than keeping eyes and ears open.

The biggest mystery for me is people.  A friend recently wrote her blog regarding the question of whether nature or nurture is responsible for the differences in an adults raised in the same environment, with the same set of parents and with the same set of rules, etc.  I've no answer for that one. I tend to think it's more a matter of nature at work, than nurturing, but someone else will, undoubtedly, have a different opinion. The debate could go on for eons, and I shan't take part in that one.

People interest me. I care about them, and I find their behaviors fascinating....and frustrating.  While I may be curious as to what 'makes them tick', I know that I won't ever know the answer. What I can do is attempt to understand them.  It's not always easy, but if one does not make an effort to show kindness and try to understand, even in a frustrating situation, it will become a time of  resentment, anger, and frustration. Who needs that?

Each person ever born has been created just the way we an individual. Some are nothing like us in word, deed, personality, appearance, thinking, behavior.  Some behaviors are a short distance in make up from wild dogs, some are a speck away from angelic.  I'm not a doctor, but I am an observer and I believe that behavior can be controlled. If you watch a person who attacks, you can get an idea about them. They don't know how to temper themselves, their thoughts and tongues when they feel threatened.  Yes, they feel threatened by something. Maybe it's that their statement was debated, maybe they feel their intelligence is under question. Who knows why they choose to attack rather than discuss with an open mind? They have a point to make, and they're going to win at all costs. Such people end up losing in the end, because their ship was let float untethered, rather than having been steered by an able hand. They lose their audience, they lose respect, they lose friends.

Those who attempt to live in peace with others seem to try to keep themselves free of  such situations. Once bitten, one does not return to pet a vicious dog. They keep their eye on them, but don't jump into the dog fight. Those people are the ones who show the true 'people smarts.' They know how to steer out of the rough waters, or just ride the waves.  They know how to stay strong in their beliefs without spewing it out in annoyance. Angels!

So many types of personalities, so many types of brains at work!  Most all of them make me scratch my head in wonder at what really lies behind their behavior and words.  I'll never know the answers, but still, I watch....and try to understand.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

You Bin Con-vuhted!

Good Heavens!  The Southern Baptists will be a-twitter! 

And there we were, sitting on the front porch, takin' in the fresh, cool, early Fall air, and perusing the contents of a new book of Southern recipes.  As we drooled over every page,  we discussed dinner menus for the next three and a half years.  (Any of you who know my husband, will  understand that without being told. ) Before long, something amazing happened.... my native dialect was o'er taken by a distinctly Southern drawl!

Ah be-gay-n ta speek lahk Palla Deen ...ow-ah puh-haps it wuz mo-ah lahk  Carol Bur-nay-ett de-id own her show whay-en she de-id the "Gow-one With The Wee-ind" skit.  At iny junct--shun, ah wuz a-bow-t ta ha-ave a spell involvin' the 'vape-ahs.'  In uthuh werds, ah wuz feelin' a bit puny an' wundrin' wut wuz hap-nin' ta may.  Lay-and sykes!

Ah wuz not suh-tin if'n ah wuz sud-dunlee pa-zay-essed, or wuz ah speekin' in uthuh tungs?!  Lordy mercy....the chuch wud have a conniption fo'sho-ah in ethah kise!  Ah say-id ta mah hus-bund thet ah wuz tuh-nin' inta a true Suth'n bay-ell. He jist gave may one-uh them glant-sez sech as he's prone ta due na-ow  'n a-gay-in... 'n thay-in he say-is.....'You bin con-vuhted!'

Mah, mah, mah!!!  Duz thay-at mean ah'll be fah-tin' the Civil Wow-ah agin' the Yankees?  Ah ain't no nat'ral bow-un Suth'nah.....'n ah ain't fixin' t' faht with no-buddy!  Heck fahr! Ah don't cotton t' fah-tin' a'tall. It ain't in mah puh-son-al-it-tay!  Ah s'pose if'n ah had 'ta pick a sahd, ah'd have ta chewz mah nat'ral bow-un side, which (whisperin...) was a Union folk. But, thay-en, wuld ah have ta way-uh a Union Suit??  Ah mah-t have ta pay-ass on awl the-is heah wow-ah. Me 'n a union suit jist wuld-int git on way-ell, ah don't reckon. 

On t'uthah hay-end, if'n ah was t' con-tinya t' talk this-a-why, they's go-own t'be sum folks who's go-own t' git t'thankin' ah'm plumb crazy owe-uh that ah'm a-makin' a jowk-a they-um. Nee-thuh one  wuld be the ach-u-wal truth.  It's jist a sitchy-a-tion thet I don't have iny control ovah, don'tcha know?  Ah reckon it'd be saw-ta hahd t' convince thay-um ov thay-et, how-evuh. So, if'n  the next tah-me y'all lay yo' ahz upon may, puh-layz say wut y'all kin do 'bowt gittin' the tah 'n feth-uhs from off'n mah pow-uh say-elf.  Ah'd be mah-tee oblah-ged if'n ya wuld do thay-et fo' may. 

In the mean-wahle....ya culd pry real hahd fo' this heah 'tungs' sitchy-a-chun I dun fahn m'sef in. Wud ya?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


It's interesting how life moves along on a fairly even pace, and then POW!  Everything changes fast.  In recent weeks I've been effected, not by my own stresses, but things that are happening in the lives of others I have contacts with.

People tend to deal with stress anyway they can. For me, after years and years of trying to 'fix' everything myself, I've learned to pray about it. I've learned to pray about everything. It's the only way I've found that keeps my spirit at peace. I've been called a zealot, and a host of other names because of my faith that God can handle all things better than I can. Who cares? Not's MY life and MY way of living it.

I see others struggling, sagging under the weight of their situations. I see them saying they want to give up, 'what's the use.'  I see them saying that they want God to come and take them to Heaven because this life is too much for them. I see others crying or taking medicines in order to handle whatever the stress is at the moment.

It makes me sad to see these that I care about in such dire straights. I would love to jump in and take it over for the. I'd love to use every word I know that could soothe them. I'd like to dismantle the problems or the people causing them, but it's not within my capabilities.  My heart goes out to these whose presentations from life cause them such anguish. Since I can't do much to help except to listen, to offer a soft word or two, I lift them up to the God who has helped me so often. I know what He can do, I've seen miracles happen. He's just waiting to be asked.

And so....Reader, whoever you are....though I may not know you personally, I know that you have times of stress and anxiety. We all do, because we're human. Know this. Today, I will lift you, un-named before my Lord, and will ask on your behalf that your burdens will be lighter, your fears dissolved. I will pray that you will be reminded that you cannot do it all alone, and that there is someone who can and will change things for you, if you will ask.

Be blessed, dear friends, with peace and comfort today. You've got a friend on earth, and a greater one in Heaven. Talk with Him.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Louder, more bold, overbearing, he speaks.  She tries to explain....he shouts above her in condescending tones, insinuating that she is a dim wit.  She endures, but does not believe his words. She is convinced of her worth, not to him, but of her own worth in the world she lives in. She will not argue with a fool, for she knows that she wins by walking away.

Let him believe as he will, as there is no changing his mind. She knows that. She is on her way to better places, it's only a matter of time before she will see him no more. He will not know where she goes, she is sure of that, for he has no idea of her plan or the people who protect her now and will do so in the future.

He has no idea of the way they laugh at his behavior, of the names they speak to her in private, but not in public, places. His social skills are lacking severely, he's always been a loner, and is now, as well. He's unaware that he exhibits unacceptable behavior.  He has been approached about it, but as brilliant as he thinks he is, he does not comprehend that his modus operandi  will not be tolerated. He is, in his mind, superior to all others, and he has no reason to listen to voices other than his own. He's unteachable.

She knows, she understands his problems, and she's finished with him and his degradation, his pompous arrogance, his bombastic, inflated ego. She knows who she is and what he is, and she's leaving it all behind her. That's what happens to people like him.

It doesn't always happen that way for people like her. Some are ruined because of the belief in his words. Some are caught in the cage of lies. Some don't have protection, or a place to go.  She does, and as she walks away, she remembers the words of one who once said, " It is a small man, indeed, who must degrade another in order to appear great, if only in his own eyes." 

She has won her war and walks away without so much as a battle scar.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


My heart is heavy today, for a few reasons.  I've seen on Facebook that some who are connected with me in reality and some who are known only by Facebook interaction are suffering.  Some are truly troubled, others are irritated by things in their lives.  I've given them some prayer time, and much thought. I know that these things  will pass, and most will come out of these troubles having learned something from them, and with growth because of them.

As for me, I have an irritation. There is an association with one who seeks, unfailingly, to attack me in some form or fashion, regardless of what I say. This one is a disagreeable person, even when I attempt to avoid conflict, it comes directly at me.  I've tried to ignore it, I've tried to rationalize it, I've tried to be understanding. I'm not one who cares much for dissention.  Apparently, I rub this one the wrong way. I cannot avoid this one, as we are members of the same group and often have interaction with the other mutual friends.  Overall, I have a very pleasant experience and have had with my fellow Facebookers.  This one, though, is my thorn in the flesh.

I'll get through this without further incident.....I hope.  It'll be a mind game on my part, not to in any way acknowledge the presence of one who seems to want an all out war of words with me.  Right now my head is telling me to do just this, when inside I'm feeling annoyed that I can't type a thing without some negative reaction from that one.

 Ahhhhh well, such is life, I suppose.  Nobody is loved by everyone....I'll just stick to the ones who care about me, I guess.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday Morning Thoughts

It's least the calendar tells us that it is. The weather here in upstate SC has other plans, however. It's predicted to be 87 degrees before the day is done. I think that's too warm to call it Autumn here, and Mother Nature thinks so too, I guess. There's not a sign of colored leaves yet.  

My mind quickly flashes to my home town, where Fall is beginning. The end of the tourist season has come, and the natives are rejoicing over that and the cooler weather.  I allow myself to drift into thoughts of the place.

The ocean beaches are deserted at this early time of day while I write. But for a million footprints in the sand from former visitors there, you'd think no one ever came to view the sea. Those of us who are drawn there, know that what we see at this hour hides the truth. Before the sun has even awakened, the surf casters will be on the beach in their waders, readying their gear for a catch. The sea birds will dive and soar at the first glint of the sun, competing with the human fishers for a harvest from the ocean.  

Photographers with their digital cameras, lenses and paraphernalia will also arrive to catch the early light.  Some who must make a daily trek along the shore will come too, in order to get their exercise....or to calm a spirit.  Others will arrive in their cars soon, to sit and stare at the ever-changing sea. Still others seem to think it is their duty to go every morning, to be sure that no one has pulled the plug and let the ocean drain away.

Today, as I do on many other days, I remember the way the ocean claps as it hits the sand, spraying foam high in the salted air.  I listen to the rhythms of the waves that sound deep within my soul. I am far from my native home, but it is not far from me. I smell it. I hear it. I see it. It is deeply embedded in me, as if the salt water runs through my veins.  Because I cannot visit today, I visit my memories.

The sands are carried by the sea....and the sands of time have carried me to a different place in the world. A place where pine trees grow tall and the heat of day arrives later and the sun sets over mountains.  Still, as the sands of the beach drift in the Autumn winds, covering the footprints of those who were there, and though I have drifted to an inland home, my own being there on that beautiful island can never be erased. It is all a part of who I am, and will always be so.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Suffice it to say, I'm not thrilled with certain types of creatures. Yeah, yeah....I know...."All creatures, great and small....the Lord God made them ALL. "  All that is GOOD, but I don't know if He had it in mind for us to like everything He made.  I do appreciate His creativity and diversity of His wonderful handiwork, however....I'm not a fan of some of His art. I liken it to my non-understanding of abstract art or rap 'music'. I just don't care for it, mostly.

In this case, I don't understand the need for flies. They are pesky little creatures who land without a thought on things like piles of dung, and directly go from there to a plate of food, with no consideration whatsoever for the one who was about to devour that food.  I also don't see why God chose to make mosquitos. Now, what earthly good can there be in an insect that buzzes in your ear and gnaws on your skin, causing it to erupt in an itchy, red bump.....or worse yet, that may cause you a deathly illness?!  Then there are fire ants. They are not your common picnic invader, they are tiny red versions with huge, invisible teeth that clench the nearest skin clad human body part with a vengence, leaving a burning, incredibly itchy area that lives on for days.  What's the point, I wonder?

I'm also not thrilled with spiders of any sort. I attempt to avoid those at all costs. There are certain ones of those who seem to be prone to penetrating the epidermis as well. Best to leave all of them to themselves. There are other insects that jump, fly or land, sting, bite or annoy. Thankfully, a fly swatter is a good weapon for most, but it does little about gnats or no-see-ums that seem to like to swim in whatever beverage I've just poured for myself. have a point if you've said that most of the above have been created as a food source for some other of God's creation.  I get that, but why must this food source be so annoying to humans?

Insects was not even a thought when I began to write this peice. I had something else in mind.... reptiles. I'm not going to even enter the word for long, squiggly, cold-blooded things. Those, and even the thought of them, make my skin crawl.  But, here in the southeast, we have some other critters of reptilian descent....lizards. They don't usually bother me, except to scare me out of my flip flops when one streams silently past on the front porch.  Right now, though, I'm extremely bothered by the fact that a 6-7" blue one has made it's way into my sunroom, and I can't find it. I saw it....well, it's I entered the room yesterday afternoon. He's lucky he made it past me before my foot landed on him. I'm lucky too, because I think I'd have passed out.

So, until my Hero can catch this danged thing, I must share my favorite room with him. I'm not happy about it at all, but if there's any good that can come of it, maybe he will catch the gnats or other little insects that fly in whenever someone opens the door to the outside.  Or....maybe he's lying in wait somewhere so that when my husband exits to enjoy his coffee on the back steps, old Blue will dart for the open door! I'll bet he's no happier inside than I am to have him.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Where There's Smoke....

Apparently somebody thought my life wasn't exciting enough. To remedy that, a certain occurrence took place as I cooked my dinner last evening.  The frying pan caught fire, shooting flames nearly as high as the bottom of the microwave which is located above the stove top. For that reason, it was impossible for me to smother the flames with the lid of the pan without getting burned.

Not wanting to end up in the Atlanta Burn Center, I grabbed the phone and dialed my Mom's house, where Mike had just gone to deliver some peaches and let him know that there was a pan on fire. He raced across the street to our house with the speed of a champion sprinter.  He quickly extinguished the fire by placing the lid over the now-shorter dancing flames, as the smoke alarms were screaming all over the house,  and the smoke was filling every room.  

We opened all the windows and turned on the ceiling fans and exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen.  Before long, the smoke was out and by bedtime we were able to close the windows again.
However, this morning, when I got up, there was the distinct smell of an over-done steak and burned fried onions.  

Maybe Fabreze will use my story for their next advertisement.  The whole incident should be turned to something worthwhile.

In the meantime, while I wait for the royalties to roll in, let me encourage every young woman to marry a fireman. Let me remind every cook that surprises can happen, and that even though 'a watched pot never boils', a watched frying pan can catch fire. Let me tell you that smoke alarms are very annoying when they randomly go off without cause (or when batteries need replacement) but they are extremely important to have in working order. Do not slack off on this list bit of advice.

And remember....where there's smoke, there is almost always a fire. Be careful.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What I WON'T Be....

Do you remember the days of your youth when people would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up?  I do....and I remember what I said, too.  I met those goals, and left some of them behind.  I've often thought of what my answer to the question would be if posed to me that I've seen and become aware of so many more options.  I haven't settled on that answer yet.

I do know, however, what I won't be.  I won't be several  things.  I will never be a college student working toward a specific degree, because I've never liked school.  Please don't misunderstand. I do enjoy learning, but at my own pace, and in ways other than sitting in class rooms or lectures with boring instructors.  I'm not an avid reader, unlike so many of my friends are. I enjoy reading, but only things that interest me, not long books.   I will never be a mathmatician, bookkeeper, tax preparer, accountant, or anyone else who works with numbers. We have never been compatible... numbers and I, I mean. 

I will never be a race car driver. I abhor speed demon driving, or riding, for that matter.  I'm not a terrific passenger, because I'm always jamming my foot on the imaginary brake, or grabbing the bar above the passenger door when driver is flying down the curvy back roads or on the horrendous interstate highways. But, unless I want to stay at home, doing nothing....which I do not, I must endure those harrowing experiences of speed unleashed. 

I will never be a window washer or leap from tall buildings with a single bound. I will never climb mountains on foot paths, or rock walls inside buildings or outside of them either. I don't like heights at all. I get dizzy.  I won't be a miner or one who explores the beautiful under world of stalactites and stalagmites. I'm a bit claustrophobic.   I'll never be a world traveler, though I would consider that should by bank account allow it.  I'll never be a clown or a comedienne, although I think it would be fun to be one, I'm not that funny. Besides, clowns often scare people, especially little kids, and that would not be fun.

No, I'll never be any of the above....or a myriad of other things. But, do you know what? I'm not the least bit upset over what I'll never be.  I know who and what I am....a very happy wife, a loved daughter, an available mother and a loving Grandmother.  I'm completely content being ME...whoever that is at the moment, and I wouldn't change a thing!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My grandfather had a close relationship with my grandmother's family, and even though she'd been gone for years, he'd often go across the bay on the ferry to visit them on Shelter Island. Sometimes he'd take me too. That day my friend, Sandy, came along with us. Grampa surprised us by bringing a picnic along for us...he made the BEST tuna salad sandwiches, and he brought a whole loaf of them.  Sandy ate as many as she could pack into her tummy that day! We had our day-long visit with my great Aunts and Uncles, and some cousins and their kids. We played on the tire swing that hung from a huge old tree in the front yard, near the stand where Uncle Bill sold bouquets of bright gladiolas that he grew in the field behind the barn. We explored the large yard, and we danced around in the kitchen with old Uncle Charl swinging us around and around 'til he lost his balance and bumped into a big kettle on the stove, dumping all of Aunt Ardis' canned pickles to the floor. She chastised him with a stern, 'Now Charl! look what you've done!"  And she shooed us out with him behind us.  We decided to find something less rambunctious to do, and we went into the right hand barn building to make music on the old player piano. It was dreadfully out of tune, but it didn't matter to us.

After a big supper at the big dining room table, with all the family gathered together, the old folks went to the front room and visited some more. Before long, it was time for Grampa to load us up and head for home. Sandy and I piled into the front seat, with me in the middle.  We crossed the water on the small car ferry, arriving on the North Haven side in 10 minutes. We started up the hill toward Sag Harbor and that's when we ran into the fog.  Grandpa wasn't a speedy driver, by any means, but he slowed down even further to meander through the veil of damp air as the sun began to set.  We made our way along Rt 114, through Sag Harbor, and pointed toward East 
Hampton.  It was 'scary' least to me.  Grampa pressed his foot a little harder on the gas pedal, and then let it up. In a few minutes, Sandy and I were giggling at the forward and backward 'see saw' our bodies did with every push and let up of that gas pedal.  I'll bet Sandy remembers that day, that tuna, and that foggy ride home, even now, some 55 years later! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Getting to Know....

There are times when you think you know a person really well, and suddenly they present you with something new....something you had no idea about. SURPRISE!!! You didn't know so much as you thought you did.

All this can mean is that you can learn something new every day, if you pay attention. That's not a bad thing, is it?  Lessons follow lessons, and hopefully they make some impact on you that you can add to your file called 'wisdom'.  These lessons are given to us that we might learn from them, and I enjoy learning them, though they aren't always the most pleasant events that bring those lessons about.

Hearing the new things from an old friend gives pause. It brings curiosity too...'what else do I not know'?  Now that sort of thing doesn't make a lot sense to me, because I have long ago accepted this person as they were, so what else I don't know will only be a learning experience in the future, should I continue to accept this person as he/she is.  That's pretty much my nature, so I'm quite certain that we'll remain buddies in the years to come, unless I'm presented with something dangerous or criminal.

These thoughts just flow right now....they don't need to be pondered. I'm one who likes surprises...and lessons too, so I'll be accepting of them.  I think the only thing I can say to sum all this up is this:  You just never know EVERYTHING, nor do you need to.  Keep what is needful, shun the rest of it.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ups and Downs

Life, for all of us, seems to bring its ups and downs.   The 'ups' don't come to us in the same ways, nor do the 'downs'... and most of us will respond to them in the same ways.The pleasant occurances bring feelings of  happiness and  sometimes pride.  The less than joyous days bring us emotions of sadness or heavy hearts.  We've all been there,  so you know what I mean.

Recently one of my daughters had a major surgery. I was 'itching' to go back to Long Island to nurse her back to health. Because our kids either share homes with someone, or the one that they live in is already too small for its residents comfort, there is always the issue of where to stay when we go back home.  Knowing that fact, and that she had a good support group of friends and family members there to care for her, my daughter insisted that we stay here, and come later in the Fall when she'd feel better. It was one of those events that caused me to feel that heaviness that comes from wanting to make sure your child is safely cared for while recuperating, and knowing you can't 'fix' it. 

What do you do in such a case? You deal with it the best way you can. I've always been one to 'look it in the eye' and deal with it, not try to run from it, or wallow in it either. You can suffer through, or you can do what I did, and just say, 'I can't be there. It IS what it IS", and I just went about my day right here....900 miles from my daughter. That is NOT to say that the wanting to be there stopped! Oh no! It kept cropping nagged me. It woke me up at night, at which times I spent praying for my daughter and her care givers. 

The 'uppers' are easy to deal with.  You just share the joy with others, or you just 'float around' in you own little bubble of happiness.  I always savor those happy times and am grateful for them.

Emotions are such delicate things, and they are sometimes difficult to manage. They are fickle, coming and going as they choose. I guess the solution is to just take hold of them and wrangle with the things until you can manage them, rather than letting them rule you.  It's all about a balance, I think.  

Sometimes I think I really AM a control freak.....but in this case, that's not such a bad thing, is it?

Sunday, July 7, 2013


It's been a busy time. We've gotten Mom through a winter of ups and downs and a gazillion doctors. We've gotten Mike through the flu (or so we thought) followed by a Feb. return of the flu (or so we thought) and then a late March gall bladder surgery.  That was followed by a carpal tunnel surgery on the left hand, and a skin cancer surgery (they got it expected return!!) on his right ear. Next will be a surgery on his right hand to release a 'trigger finger'.

Between meeting nearly every doctor in the county, and some very unusual onslaughts of too much rain, we managed to get a small vegetable garden planted. So far, it's been quite a disappointment this year. I think the excess water has done its damage on our cucumbers and tomatoes, though the latter are producing.  The corn isn't quite ripe for picking yet...but will be soon. I hope the water has done that a favor!!

We had guests from NY in March. That's always fun and we totally enjoyed their visit.  This past week, our former next door neighbors and our best friends, returned to SC for a visit with us for a few days, and the rest of the time with their daughter's family.  We stayed up way too late, ate way too much, talked soooo much and enjoyed their being here to the hilt!  I felt a let down as I watched them drive away. It'll be another year before we see them again, when they return for their  grandson's graduation from high school. I already can't wait!

I spent a good amount of time and a little money shopping for some nautical themed things to put into the house. It's been so long since I've been to the beach...and I miss our hometown beaches like I decided that it was time to move the beach into our house.  I put a light colored room sized rug on the floor in the living room, shed the dark couch cover to expose the chambray blue denim upholstery, hung semi-sheer sand colored curtains with 3 glass ball net buoys hung in the center of them. I  began adding those reclaimed wood signs I painted with the names of back-home beaches. I dragged out the apothacary jar of  beach glass I'd collected throughout my lifetime, framed some photos of the beaches and harbor-full of boats, placed grandkids photos at the beach, in an old window frame. I placed a huge glass net buoy on the table with a small, old wood box full of sea shells & beach glass, a couple of star fish and a few small bits of driftwood. Some colored glass bottles were placed on the mantle of the fireplace , a large wood fish shaped  serving board was painted and hung over the mantle.  A fish net was hung by small anchors over the guest room mirror, and a small row boat shelf was added. A carved sandpiper stands on one side of the pedestal sink, and a blue dish of soaps shaped like a flip flow and shells sits on the other side of the faucets.

Whew!  I'm exhausted just writing all of that!  Now I'm enjoying the peace and the sun shining into the sun room, with a cd of ocean waves crashing through the air.  The ceiling fans offer my version of sea breeze...without the salt.  I am relaxing..... and thinking of our vacation which is coming up, not soon enough. I think of the poem...." I must go down to the sea again...."

Yes, I MUST!!!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Second Childhood?

Recently I saw a photo of an elderly woman standing on a Hopscotch  drawing. She appeared to be playing the childhood game, but I'm not sure her old bones would allow the hopping that such a game entails. It sparked a few memories of my own, of games and activities I took part in as a youngster. Some I could do today, if I tried, some I'm sure that I could not attempt!

Hopscotch was a game the girls in our neighborhood played. We'd draw the connected boxes on the asphalt with chalk, numbering each box. Sometimes the form was 2 boxes, with the next row being 1 box, the next 2, and so on. We'd each have a  'potsy'....a stone or some other flat item, maybe a hair clip or barrett that we'd throw into the 1st box, then hop with one foot to the box next to it, in order to pick up the potsy, and then hop back. If your foot hit the line between any of the boxes, you were 'out'.  The game went on like that until you went all the way to the end and back without getting called out.  We did the same type of thing with a huge drawing of a 'snail' with numbered boxes.

Chinese jump rope or even regular jump rope is out of the question these days!  So is the pogo stick, and I dare say that stilts would not work well for me, since I have enough trouble manuvering  with my feet flat on the terra firma!  Bad hips and backs do not a pogo stick champion make!

I'm sure there are several other games of youth that would best be left to the younger set.  Let's see, anything requiring running, jumping, skipping, hopping, dodging, wheels or skate blades beneath the soles of feet..... and perhaps anything relating to a ball!

But, I CAN still work a mean hula hoop, so long as the thing has been constructed with the correct weights inside. I can do pretty good chalk drawings, I can also build some pretty neat little rail  fences and log houses from sticks...just the way pioneers used to build real homes. (Well, maybe not quite as well, but they'll serve the purpose for grandchildren with little people and animals to house.)  I can still make some fun pictures for coloring or water coloring, and some fancy paper dolls ...or some pretty nice doll clothes.

I guess I'm still good for something, huh?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What a Winter!

Today's calendar date is April 17. Finally, Spring has arrived this week, and she doesn't seem as if she'll be going anywhere very soon. Thankfully!

It seemed like such a long winter this year. I don't know if it was colder than usual, or if the cold lasted longer than normal, but it felt to me as if it was never going to end. Even when the flowers began to show some sign of waking up, nights were still dropping below the freezing mark, and frost lay on the brown grass in the mornings. During the day, the warmer sun would fool us into thinking that Spring had come, but it wasn't so.

Today, though, the leaves have all dressed the trees and blossoms are colorful and other plants await their turn to bloom as they climb from the cool, damp earth and reach up for the sunshine.  The temperatures should reach 84 today, the weather man says.  How refreshing! I remember in June,1996, our wedding day was the warmest day of the entire summer there on Long Island, NY.  It was warm,too...88 deg.  So, today will be a wonderful day for me!

I read on a friend's Facebook status this morning that they are awaiting yet another snowfall where she lives in Minnesota.  I'm grateful that we've crossed the line, and Spring has come to our house! I hope that you have a bright and wonderful day, wherever you live, and that your long winter has also come to an end.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Question Posed...

Chatting with a friend this morning, I was left with this question posed by him. " If there was someone that you knew that was a pillar in the community, but then charged with a terrible crime (pedophile), who then committed suicide before the trial or evidence was presented, would you then attend his viewing and/or funeral? "

That gives me pause for thought.  Honestly, I don't know if I can come up with an answer.  I've never been put into such a situation, but I will say this. I hate the issue of pedophilia. It's not just an 'issue', it's a dispicable act of sin.  That being said, all sin is rather dispicable....and since all people are subject to some sort of act that displeases God (sin), it is up to Him to judge that sin or that person's behavior. It is not up to me.

I suppose the entire question about my attending the viewing or funeral would depend a lot on how well I know that particular person. I'm not especially fond of funerals, in general, and am most likely not to attend for the sake of attending, unless I'm very familiar with the person or their family.  Family members of the dear departed one are comforted, somewhat, in knowing that they have the support of their friends as they grieve their loss. I know that is true for me.  So, I guess my answer to the question would be, "The alleged crime would not keep me from attending his services, should I be very close to the family. Otherwise, I wouldn't be there anyway."

Hmmm...I wonder if my friend would be satisfied with my answer?  I'm sure it's all a matter of personal preference, and this would be mine.  I hope I never have to be in the position to find out what I'd do in such a situation.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Can Never Go Home Again

It is said that you can 'never go home again.'  It is true, I think.  When you try to do so, you'll find that things are changed, never quite the same as they were.

This morning I read a friend's blog from earlier this month.  He spoke of his childhood home, and the realization that he hasn't a single photo of that place.  The house remains, as far as he knows, on the same property he played on as a child, but only his memories remain of the interior of the home itself.
On one of his trips to our hometown, he went to visit the old homestead, and though the owner was good enough to invite him to walk through, and things looked much the same inside the walls, it wasn't really 'home' anymore.

I felt a sadness in reading that entry.  I think it's because it hit 'so close to home' for me.  My childhood home was demolished, in its relative 'youth'. It was built in 1959 and added on to in the 1960's. It met its demise in the late 1990's, after being sold out of our family.  Another house was built  on the original, but expanded foundation. It looked nothing like the house with the four small bedrooms and two baths that I spent my teen years growing up in.  I was able to walk through when construction was being completed. It had an open floor-plan, a fireplace, fewer and larger bedrooms. As pretty as that new house was, it was not 'home' anymore.  I felt as if I'd lost a loved one.

I knew that same sadness when my grandmother's house was sold out of the family, but that still stands, and without too many changes to its old body. Yes, it has been renovated slightly and repairs have been made, but there isn't too much to complain about...except the yard. Grandpa's old shop was taken down.  The old and beautiful lilac bushes were taken out, as were the other flowering plants. Rows of large, colorful bearded iris were removed too.  And now, tall hedges hide the house from the street.  Otherwise, the house is much the same.

My own home, which was where my children were reared, was sold when we moved south. I understand that nothing much was changed there, but that everything was painted white inside the house. The yard looked nearly the same when I was visiting my hometown 3 years ago, but I did see that the picket fence and some plants were gone from what was a large rose and lily garden on the side of the house. The large blue spruce trees that offered privacy were trimmed from the ground up, leaving a heavy topped  tree, which I fear will cause the trees to break in strong winds or storm.

There is little one can do about these changes that come to our beloved homes. They belong to someone else now, and whatever it is that they do to make it 'theirs' is beyond our control.  Still, we visit these places in our minds and memories. We walk across the  wood floors. knowing just where they will creak. We wander in and out of rooms and see the wallpapers, and smell the offerings from the kitchen stove. We know every nook and cranny.

With or without the photos to remind us, we know what we know about our former homes.  I think it best not to mingle the present with the past by physically visiting those buildings that housed us for so long.  It causes us unrest and discomfort, really can never go home again.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Here we are...marching on. We've made it through the winter months, and now have thoughts of Spring, with real hope in our hearts. As I type this, the daffodils are blooming, the tulips greens are up a good way out of the ground, the red bud trees are in blossom. We're looking forward to warmer weather and colorful gardens.

But for a moment, for this blog entry at least, I'll look back and fill you in on the events of the winter months. It's been somewhat of a challenge this year. The month of November found me in some ridiculous disagreement with a family member, which I hated, but due to us both being made of stubborness and strong opinions, we were at an impossible impass.  I was informed in no uncertain terms that the other person would not be attending the holiday meals here at our house as is normally the case. I was hurt, but no matter what I said or did, things didn't change for the better, so I gave up and moved on.

Shortly after, my mother began to show some strange symptoms of numbness.  Knowing that they could be associated with strokes or TIAs, I took her to the emergency room at one of our hospitals.  It was flu season and the waiting rooms were backed up for hours with patients wearing masks, or not, slumped in chairs with expressions of misery on their faces. The first visit was an 11 hour wait until they determined from the CT scan that there was no stroke, no blockage, no TIA. No diagnosis at all.
Three days later, we were back in the emergency room for a 6 hour stay. Again, they told us that because the numbness was in face and hand, they would think it was a TIA, but because it was only seconds long, and they could find nothing on tests, she should take a baby aspirin  and go back home, following up with her family doctor.  Thus began an onslaught of blood tests, echo cardiogram, heart monitor, MRI, and anything else they could think of to find or rule out a condition. So far, we still don't have a diagnosis. However, one blood test showed very low levels of B12 vitamin, so Mom was put on a daily supplement.

Within a week or so, Mom was sleeping better, her mood was cheerful again, she'd lost the confusion I'd noticed in weeks before, and her color had returned. Apparently, she had been anemic, which had caused the gray complexion, the irrational attitudes and moods that were normally so unlike her. She was, in her words, 'worn out' but she couldn't sleep well. I had noticed the symptoms and knew 'something' was wrong, but hadn't put things together until the B12 was added. At that point, I googled 'B12 deficiency' and read several reports of symptoms. BINGO! I think I found the problem, and yet, when I asked the doctor if he thought that could have been the cause of it all, his answer was that he thought it was 'stress.'   Siiiiiigh.

Mom is  very strong,but for arthritic knees. Her heart is, apparently, strong and her blood chemicals are good.  She's fairly easy-going, normally, lives a quiet...almost There is little to stress her out, but I do think that she was worrying about what was happening to her body and why no one had answers for her. Even the neurologist couldn't find anything wrong, except some imbalance in her gait, due to the knees.  The very last thing was just the other day, when there was a stress test done with another echocardiogram. A good strong, healthy looking heart beats in that chest.

So, we've wound up the winter with no diagnosis, and Mom marches on  toward the middle of this month when she will celebrate another year of life. I am so grateful for her and her presence with us. It is a real blessing to know that she is healthy, even if we have to visit every doctor in the area to find that out!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Middle of January Already???

Yes, it is the middle of January already!  I can't believe it. It seems that we get less done since we've been retired than we did when we were both slaving away at our jobs.  What's wrong with this picture?

Our Christmas trees are still up, as are most of the other decorations, but that's not unusual since we both like Christmas. I'm kind of thinking it's time to go,though. I was not particularly 'involved' in my favorite holiday this year for a dozen reasons. Mom had some sort of medical things that required a lot of doctors, tests and two trips to the ER. That took much time, not the least of which were the 17 hours total spent in those two ER visits.  And, guess what? To date, we still have no reason for her symptoms, which have seemed to have disappeared!

Time really can get frittered away....or it just flies off into some spot where you can never retrieve it. There is much to do at all times, so why does so little get accomplished around here from week to week?  (Truth is, too much computer time, reading blogs, exploring decorating, real estate, and craft websites, editing pictures, Facebook!)

So, here we are, nearly two weeks into the new year. I could have made a resolution to accomplish at least ONE thing per day, but as things go, I'd have probably broken that resolution.  I guess I'll just have to see if I can lighten the load, cross things off the list that aren't that important, and focus on what is primary. Having said that, I've just re-started the Circle Letter and added a new pen pal to my to-do list. These are fun things for me...making new friends and keeping in touch with  them and family.

Now I know, having written this entry, what the real truth is. There is a lack of time management and self-discipline in this house. Living in denial has gone on for too long, so now I must focus on reality and sign off to get something accomplished!