Thursday, May 25, 2017



If you don't believe me, ask my poor husband. I am home everyday, either talking to myself, or to the grandkids; both of them boys, who would rather listen to a digital voice from a video game.

I'm pretty sure I don't use even five-hundred of my allotted twenty-thousand words each day. Hubby probably uses at least sixty-five hundred of his seven thousand. Can you say, "tension" around five thirty in the afternoon? It sorta flows from both sides of our desk. We've tried to make adjustments, but sometimes we just have to pretend he's still at work. But wait, I still have about NINETEEN-THOUSAND words to use before bedtime! Can anyone relate?

So many wonderful things have happened to me in my long and blessed life. They've always happened in the form of people; young people, old people, babies. There have been friends, a few people I didn't especially like, family, co-workers, school mates; you name it, they have been through my life. I just don't know how to NOT talk about all these people and the roles some of them have played in my life. As a child, my most famous line, according to my grandpa, was, "Oh, paw-paw, let me talk." (Truth)

Sooo...get ready for it...

I have decided to write a book. I have made my meager start, and have learned a couple very important lessons: it isn't a walk in the park. It's hard work, and if you aren't computer savvy, get ready to check into rehab after you lose -- completely wipe out -- your first 60,000 words. That's three days worth of words. I'm slowly learning other things about my venture; very slowly. 

I'm sure, between consoling me and trying to find my lost words (that never re-appeared by the way), my hubby was smiling; for three days all he heard were sobs. No words.

If I try to figure the timeline for distribution, it would be so far away we would all be old and gray. (I'm laughing here, but you don't have to). Anyway, I'm posting this here to be one of my accountability sources. Keep reminding me.

And who knows, someday, somewhere, you might pick up a book and find yourself a Protagonist, or maybe even an Antagonist. They're the bad guys. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Simpler Times

We were standing on the bank of the river as it turned the bend heading to join other bodies of water. It cast twinkles of light out toward a future that had no boundaries, or no obstacles. In fact, there was nothing in that world but light, love and beauty. “Remember those days, daddy?”

I was so absorbed in my memories, I was quite shocked to turn around and realize the person I was standing with and talking to wasn’t there with me, at least not physically. While I stood watching the river, I realized I had been taken back in time once again, nearly fifty years. “Oh, where had time gone, and so quickly,” I asked myself. My mind’s eye slipped back again to those days.

Standing there, so close to my childhood, it seemed nothing had changed. I could still see an old, rusty swing, a picnic table that needed paint, and I heard the voices of small children clothed in shirts and dresses made from flour sacks, the way they did in the simple easy times of life. My imagination continued on across the ripples of the river until it joined with other memories so consuming, it was as if I were still there; playing on the landing myself; those many years ago.

The sun was warm on my back and arms as I sat down on a patch of dusty ground.  As I laid my head back and looked up toward the sky, I could hear the light wind ruffling through the needles of the tall pines and I could see them sway high above me. I watched the white, fluffy clouds drifting by in a sunny sky.

Turning my head toward the now empty and neglected houses, I wondered where the little kids who had lived on the landing had gone, where the years had taken them. Were they kind years filled with pleasant memories?

As I cast one last look across the river, to the other side, I realized, for the first time ever, this was the same river that flowed past my grandparents home, across the highway and hidden by thick, swampy underbrush.

On this day, of lone reflection, I packed up my picnic lunch and headed back. I knew I would pass the home of my dad’s aunt and her family. They lived only a short walk from the landing, under a canopy of trees and flowers of all sorts. One of her son’s was close to my age and we had spent many hours at their house, playing beneath the trees. One of our favorite pastimes was learning to both stand on a large oil drum and walk it down the gravel road. There were many hours of laughter, shouts, and a few skinned knees until we finally could roll up and down the road instead of walking like most people did. We also spent many afternoons sitting in the huge tree that shaded the house from the summer sun in late afternoon. I walked up the drive, but didn’t sit and reflect long, since the laughter and warmth of those days was no longer there.

I knew if I walked back the way I had come on the way to the landing, I would find the Old Methodist church and the cemetery beside it sitting on the corner of the gravel road and main highway. Lots of fun and games of tag were played there during Sunday pot luck dinners. A nagging thought tried to push in, telling me that it was not a proper place for cousins to run and play chase between the head stones and the memories of those long departed. I smiled and said out loud, “yes, it was the perfect place to play”, and when we were hot and played out, we would fall on the soft green grass and drink from the old Artesian well right there in the center of the cemetery.

The old post office would be up the main road a mile or two waiting, waiting for friends and neighbors to stop in for a friendly chat and to pick up their mail. I suddenly could feel and smell the cool, dark interior of the country post office. I could even almost hear some of the neighbors who would gather there.  Their names, so much a part of south Louisiana culture, and their accents mingled in my mind. It was a place not only to receive letters and cards, but to socialize and enjoy life in their simple country way.

It’s difficult to walk down memory lane, remembering all those times. With each memory comes another, all connected and all still so much alive in my heart and mind. Feeling all the presence of the families who lived in this quiet, simple little town, a lifetime ago; I let myself be taken back.
As I'm standing on the ditch bank filled with large vines, I’m transported to “other lands”. The land of Cleopatra on the edge of the Nile, armies who overtook giants and warriors, pirates and ships that sailed on the open seas, places we would never go, or see, except on the ditch bank in my grandparent’s pasture. That reality didn’t matter to us back then, only the experiences of the simple games and the dreams of childhood. Nor did the dirt and dust we seemed to be covered in all the time.

Walking back from the ditch bank, through the pastures toward the road, passing the clothes line full of dark work shirts and overalls, there was a single strand of wire wrapped around white conductors. They were nailed to a post every few feet. I remember, because I once touched a wire and felt the dull, painful jolt of the “electric fence”. My dad, a spoiler, though not a coddler, simply told me I needed to watch out, the country was much different than the city and not as “tame and safe”.

It seems these memories come more often lately, now that I am the age my grandparents were then, but they are more beautiful and meaningful than when I first lived them, those many years ago.

Often times I would love to share the actual experiences with my own children and grandchildren, but then they would not see the beauty and feel the freedom I knew in my childhood.

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Softer Side of Life

Hospitality, Genteel Ladies, and Love

        I just read a blog on facebook.  Yes, I'm one of those people who actually read what other people post. I appreciate other's thoughts and love their ways of painting pictures with words. There are as many topics as bloggers. I am especially drawn to life's  stories.      
       Some think in the present, some of the past, and some look to the future, leaving behind what once was.
      I'm particularly fond of memories of the people in my past, as they relate to my present. How much those people shaped me, and how much that past has helped to form me. 
      I love the fact I had grandparents and great grandparents, aunts and uncles who were active in my life. I like closing my eyes and seeing my great grandparents home next to the highway, by the old Methodist Church in a small island town in South Louisiana.
    I like remembering the lessons learned from a generation of "real ladies". The ones who knew how to entertain, grow beautiful flowers and dress simply but elegantly.Those are memories of the women who lived during my early years, and a couple still live today.
   That is where I started to learn what hospitality is and how sacrifice for your neighbor would often come before your own needs. You would bake a pie or a cake, or even a whole meal because someone was sick; or just because. These gifts were always accompanied by flowers.
     Gardens of beautiful flowers were just a given in my childhood. "Garden Club Meetings" with each lady arriving with an arrangement designed from flowers grown in her own yard. I remember such bright, beautiful blooms and bright beautiful smiles.
     Somehow, even as a young girl attending with my grandma, I sensed a light, easy going way of life and entertaining. The large brimmed straw hats they wore, some with colorful scarves, some with a sash under the chin;while they worked in the yard. They were colorful and elegant looking and somehow genteel to an impressionable girl.
     Sometimes they would bring a basket, 
the flat bottom wicker kind with the tall curved handle, and "pruning shears" to take home "cuttings" of plants they might not have in their own garden. In the basket would also be their gloves. These items were the tools of their trade.
     The "meetings" always started the way any meeting starts, collecting dues (for next months refreshments), order of old business, and the judging of each arrangement and ribbons for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Then came the brief program, presented by the hostess of the month, usually about an article on caring for, arranging, or re-potting plants. 
     After all the official garden club business was complete, came the refreshments. I loved the flower part, but was totally antsy waiting for those cool summer refreshments.    
     Living in the country, there was always different fruit, peach, strawberry, or maybe lemon. They made the best. Fruit was used in breads or sometimes cooked down into sauces for homemade ice cream, ummm. In the hot months of summer, we would have fresh fruit with heavy whipping cream, or homemade ice cream. I can still remember sneaking more than a couple servings. Always remembering gramdma's lecture on the way over, about remembering my manners.    
     The beverages usually were freshly made Lemonade, or a flavored iced tea and coffee. In the country, in South Louisiana, there was always coffee. Strong, dark, rich coffee, served with milk and sugar, or just black.
     No matter the menu, the table was usually perfectly set, buffet style, on the porch or breezeway. They even set up under the mossy trees with Azaleas or other colorful blooms; and sunlight peeking through.
     The table always had a pretty table cloth and cloth napkins with nice china dessert plates. I was always fascinated by the tiny dessert forks and spoons; no plastic or throw-a-way anything.
     Looking back, through my minds eye, I can remember each lady and hear her voice and laughter. The ones who stand out most, are my grandmother's sisters. Ladies with old fashion names like Edith, Winnie, Vera, Julia and grandma herself, Emma. They always had a smile and a kiss on the cheek for each other, and especially for me.
     Life always seemed slower in the country. I think Spring was my favorite time though. Everything seemed washed and clean, with sunshine streaming through the trees and sparkling through the sprinkler drops, giving life to budding flowers.
     Back then we walked almost everywhere. The town was so small and things moved so slowly. Oftentimes, paths led between houses and wandered through the woods. The moss hanging from the tall over-hanging branches of the oak trees, gave a sense of being suspended in time; never changing. The colors there in the woods were dark green, gray and aged brown bark. The flowers were small, their colors yellow, maybe a purple or white. They were nature's blooms, but none of them bloomed tall and colorful like those planted in the yards full of sunshine that were cared for by loving hands.
       I can think for hours about the beauty, love and dedication that ran through the lives on that small island. I give honor and a life of love to these simple, God loving people. 


Sunday, May 8, 2016


       Thinking about Mother's Day can be a daunting thing. Where would one start? 
     Those of us who are mothers sometimes tend to think the day is about us. I mean really, we went through all the ailments known to human kind. You know, morning sickness, nine months of waddling like a duck, clothes that would only fit a whale, the fact that the whole world misunderstands how difficult it is to approach the state of motherhood, just to recite a few. 
     The benefits and respect should be ours, right? All the Mother's Day cards and, chocolates, gift cards for a day spa, lunch at a fancy restaurant, the day completely off, sleep late, new dress for church, you name it, it should be ours!
     Not that those thoughts haven't entered my mind and even taken up residence there, but why should we feel so entitled? I remember expecting those very same things the first year I was a mother, only about ten weeks after Mother's Day passed. 
  A while ago I came into possession of one of the most valuable pictures I've been able to hold in my hands. I'm going to share this beautiful lady with you today and try to tell you why it is not I who deserves the honor of Mother's day, but she who deserves the honor.  
  There are so many memories I have of this lady being the servant, the teacher, the caregiver, the example of unending love. There were times she sacrificed her own new dress so I could have one, or the boys could have a new pair of jeans. 
     I remember her altering her Sunday dress each season; making it either spring, or more fallish. I think she wore the same dress for all three kids weddings, adding a jacket, or sleeves, or a changing the length. She had this way of making quirky little hats for Sunday that were no more than wisps of net on a covered oatmeal box lid, or head band.
     I can see her walking around on Sunday morning in her blue house coat, stockings and heals and one of those little hat things on her head; while she prepared lunch before leaving for church.
     She would prepare the communion trays before we left for church and give one to each kid to hold so they would not spill, that was a pressure none of us wanted, they always spilled.
    Many of us from those times remember S&H green stamps and Community Coffee coupons, they were like money and that's how we got birthday and Christmas presents. I guess I always thought she drank coffee because she liked it, but I just realized it might have been another sacrifice for us. 
     Christmas...we got mostly cloths, and underwear but my first grade year I got the most beautiful bride doll any little girl could imagine. I still have her, but she stinks and half of her face is gone. That doesn't devalue the pride I had that Christmas morning,
 thanks to the S&H store. 
     Don't be fooled, though, she had her moments. One year my older cousin (by ten months or so) and I decided we would shake and guess what our presents were. Little did we know she had a plan for knowing whose gifts were whose and we mixed up the gifts. On Christmas morning, he got my essentials and I got his, very embarrassed, and more than a little upset, we had to model our gifts. At least she let us show off a dress and a boys shirt. 
     I remember her sitting with a pillow behind her back, and one under her so she could see between the steering wheel to drive. Of course I had the same problem when I started driving but finally fixed it so we could get a smaller, "NEW" car. I simply wrecked the land boat five times before my senior year.
     When the grand kids started coming, she quickly changed gears and we, as her kids, ceased to exist, except as the reason she now had grand children. It was M&M's or Snickers almost every night, or a $10 dollar bill slipped into our pockets to buy them a treat. She even started checking the pantry to be sure there was "good" food for their dinner.
     One time she chased my oldest around her back yard because he told her he was eating mushrooms in the back yard, he actually meant marshmallows. It was out of love that she nearly killed him. 
       As you might imagine, these are only a few fleeting thoughts and remembrances from over the years.  
     When times changed and she became so ill, we never forgot, even once what or who she was to us. She was Mother. The very essence of what this day is all about.
     Thank you, Mom for teaching me what a mother should be. 
I love you.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Story of an Humble Servant

Today I read a story, one of a servant, who could be you or me. It went something like this...

   "Forgive me Father, I am a sinner and for this I am truly sorry. I know I have committed hurtful and unjust assaults against Your love for me; You, the only one who is perfect and without sin."
   "You know my child, I have forgiven you, even while you were in your sin. I have forgiven all mankind, while you gave no thought to what manner of men you were."
   The servant, on his knees, with head bowed low, whispered "But, how can that be, I have repented of my sin to my brothers, those who have served You along side me, but to no avail. I have lost all You have given me, even that from my earthly father, but still those, my brothers, withhold their forgiveness. There have been false and unjust lies told at my expense, and gossip has run rampant through your place of Worship with heads held high and tongues on fire. I am distraught and without representation, will you remain silent, or come to my rescue?" 
   "My son, I have known and watched you from the time you were in your Mother's womb; I know your very soul. I know you understand my commands on such as forgiveness, love and brotherly kindness. Forgiveness is not their's to give, only your's to request, but in not giving that which has been asked, it seals a curse of their own, in not being forgiven that which they have done, no one is without sin."
   "My Word tells of many such instances of those who have served me, Mighty men of my own heart, who in their serving have sinned. Sins earthly men may consider grave and unjust. Have I not accepted their request for forgiveness and given it? Have I not continued to let them serve me in their giftedness, not without consequence, but with full acceptance?"
   "In all things it is Mine to judge; whether it be the service done, the heart of those who do the work, or the intent with which they do so. Through my Son, and your Brother who loved you all with his life, I extended to you forgiveness and entrance into my Kingdom."
   As the son listened to his Father, as a sheep listens to its Shepherd, he recognized the Truth of the words spoken. In fact, he had read and told others of these Truths.  
   "Tell me father, to what extent do I continue to be held captive to those who would hold me to be an example, whether of what others should expect if under their leadership, or only to pass a message to me of their power. Can the world be held in contempt by those would be leaders?"
   Of course the Father knew this was a concern to his Son, but let him ask the question anyway, then he answered..."To those who put rules on people, not given by me, there is but one thing I have to say, Hypocrite and Pharisee, "Depart from me, for I never knew you."
   "Thank you Father for listening to the ramblings and concerns of one so much in your debt. It is to You I owe my very being. Thank You too for your loving kindness for all, even sinners." 

   This story is a true story, a story we should all take to heart, one that saddens so many because of the unjust actions of some. No man/woman is given the right to condemn a child of God, for God Himself says, "there is no condemnation for those who love the Lord." For each of us who has taken the words of our God and twisted them to meet our own wants and desires, I pray we would leave what ever we are doing and seek forgiveness from our brothers, sisters and most of all, our Father.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The American Dream - How Do We Use Ir

   Tonight as I sat up after everyone else in our house had gone to bed, I read a blog posted by someone I don't even know. I will not criticize what she believes or writes about. It just struck me odd the way she lead into her writing.
   Seemingly she had just returned from a country whose people live in poverty. That is not, in and of itself hard to believe or an assumed state of affairs. What bothered me about this blog, was the fact that the writer seemed to believe that as Americans all we have to do is look at a large portion of the world and realize we are different and somehow less people of God because we are not poverty stricken, at least not most of us. That waking from the "American Dream" is somehow our ticket to becoming more Godly. I think the Dream differs greatly from person to person.
   She had a lady in the car with her (which is part of the American Dream, having a car) was shocked that their family had one of an item for each member of the family (5 items) and thought they owned a store to sell them. I might add that as a child I too would have been a little taken aback, while living the American Dream, that one family had five of something my family only had one of. We were a family of 5-7  and had one item we all used for play and my brothers used it to go several miles to work at times. If I remember correctly, my dad worked three jobs to provide one very old one, for us all to share. Again part of the "American Dream".
   The tone of the blog led me to think she thought we are less God's people because we have taken the blessings he has given us and either through hard work or leadership, formed a nation where teaching ourselves to fish, gave us an opportunity that just receiving a fish would not, again for the most part. I believe God created man in his image. I do not believe he created some smarter,or wealthier, but maybe some under less nobble authority.
  This blog sounds very righteous and very biblical, but the first thing that pops out to me, is the writer still lives in America, and even at her lowest level, lives the American Dream. I'm not saying it's a bad idea to have, to wake yourself from the Dream, it is just not a true account of what God has asked us to do. He has not called the whole world to be poverty ridden and stricken with need. 
   He has, instead called us to be the light and salt of the world, not the light under the bushel, but his love that shines through us, not hiding in hiding. 
   He calls us to help whom we can help, he tells us, to those he has given much, he expects much in return and yes, that much can be shared with those who have little, or nothing. 
   He made a perfect world and populated it with people, or his children to whom he gave free will. I'm sure he wanted us to use it to his Glory, not everyone did.
   He told the sluggard, he who will not work, neither shall he eat.       He gave us the example of the ant who lays up in store for the winter when he will have no food. 
  He doesn't say we can't have more than one of something.
  He instead tells us to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the sick, and those in prison, those, his brothers. 
   Saving the whole world is not our job, it is his. 
   Showing the world his love living in us, is our job. 
   If you are materially blessed, by all means use your materials to help those who have need, 
   If all you have is mercy, show mercy to those who do not know it.    If all you have is kindness, or gentleness, be kind and gentle, and love those who do not know the Love of God.
MARK 12.30 
Love 1 the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’2 

LUKE 10:27
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all you  soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as your self.
   Friends, God did call a few to sell all and follow him, the rich young ruler for one, but he knew his heart and knew he could/would not do that, to his loss.
   He also knows our hearts. He knows what we have in abundance and what we don't in our need. I do not think he intends his people to throw back at him the blessings he has provided to us, but for us to be willing to share and use those blessings, what ever they might be.

   When we, his sheep know his voice the way he, the Sheppard knows each one of us his sheep, we can trust he will lead us to do his perfect will. If you ask him, and truly listen, he will tell you, show you the plan he has for you.

   We need to stop trying to make helping the world in need a one size fits all help. Seek to know your part and do it. Leave others to their own.
In His Love,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Love a Story

    You can find one in the delightful antics of a toddler, on a walk in the quiet coolness of a foggy morning, or in the middle of a riotous celebration of friends taking a road trip. There is a story to be found in most every day.

   Not all stories start out to be that; sometimes they just happen, especially when you aren't looking. Then as you look back over a life lived, the high spots start to rise and soon the whole thing has taken on a personality of it's own...a story has been born.
  Today there is a special story I would like to highlight, it's one of those kind that slip up on you when you're not looking. 
   Think back in time with me and enjoy this one. You will probably finish with one very similar in your own mind.  Enjoy...
   Some sixty-odd years ago, while I was still too young to know that stories actually happen to people, while I still thought they were just the "once-upon-a-time" ones that moms everywhere read at bedtime, this story began.
   I was an only girl in an all boy family and had no friends of my own, until one day I remember being at my aunt's house and realizing the somewhat younger girl there was my cousin.  
   I don't remember really meeting her, she was just always there...we were always together.  The younger years of paper dolls, skinned knees, eating Popsicles in the back yard, staying at each other's house, playing in the sprinkler... just always was.
   Then one day I remember their family moved into the house next door to ours, that's where our story really started.  By this time we were around eight, I think.
   There was only a shrub fence between our front yards, and her bedroom window was right across the driveway from mine.  We knew there was a "lights out" but the consequences were not strong enough to remove the temptation to talk through the window. This was before air-conditioning and our windows were always open. It was as if when the lights went out, our day continued.
   The nights, just before we had to be inside, were shared lying on our backs looking at the stars and talking about what might be out there, in the darkest of dark (science was only for school).
   Right after school was a time for playing, cutting limbs off trees, riding bikes and arm wrestling the guys down the street. (and always beating them)...hmmm, maybe that's why we both married guys not from the neighborhood. Although those guys were our protectors, companions and confidants when we needed one, as well as "dates to all things school related." To Jr. high dances, dance parties at her house, etc.
   You've heard the saying "girl fight", well we were the best, we could have majored in that subject and have a thriving business teaching girls today.  Right there between my driveway and her shrub hedge, we would kick, bite, pull hair, scratch skin off with nails, bend arms back 'til the other cried, "Give"; and on and on. When we were both too tired to even remember what the fight was about, we sat down to plan who would spend the night at whose house.
   Then as we got older, and started high school, (I mean she was just a little kid then, she couldn't drive a car, or anything REAL teenagers could do), we developed our own set of friends and life started to happen.  I got married, had a baby and moved away, then she got married and started having babies, too.  The only times we were together were Christmases when the family Christmas Eve get-together came around.  We could still pick up the phone and start our last conversation where it left off though.
   Fast forward some thirty-ish years (I guess, time doesn't transfer in my stories, as relationships do). 
   Now enter the Diva years.  She and I, along with the friend I met in first grade, got together and became THE DIVA'S, before you could even find bling that says "Diva."  We have traveled, talked, shopped, ate, talked, cried, talked and have formed a golden chain not easily broken by life.  
   Since I have nothing to give as a tribute to my BFF, COUSIN, and DIVA SISTER, you get to be the feature of my story. Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon and, I love you DS.