Tuesday, July 1, 2014

That Time Again

         
         
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Today, I took my annual trip to Eatonton to get my corn. I love the corn you get at Green Glades Farm! They have yellow or white corn and while I like the yellow, I love the white . $12.00 for 50 ears is a bargain. The only thing about it is the work involved. Each year I say I will not get so many again and each year I do it again! Well, Dan can eat his weight in corn and I have to have enough to share, so I ended up getting 250 ears! I  started shucking at 12pm and I just now got it all in the freezer and the kitchen cleaned up! Can you guess what we ate for supper??? ha!

Lord have mercy on me!!! I am sooooooooooo tired! The thing I hate about getting old is; the spirit is willing, but the body isn’t able! There are so many things that I use to could do with no sweat, but not now. When you get old, there are various parts of your body that hurt when you try to do things…things that you use to do with ease!! My hand that I used today to cut the corn is hurting, my back that I used lifting the boxes of corn from the car trunk is hurting, and even my arms are hurting!!

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I went to Family Day at our little church this past Sunday. I got to hear some good singing and some good preaching. I also got to see some folks I hadn’t seen in a while. It is so good to see folks you love, and what better place to see them at, than in God’s house?! I bet here aren’t too many Churches that you can go to and come home with fresh out of the garden cucumbers either like I did! Thank you God for good people!

Dan and I went to Athens after Church Sunday to get my new glasses. Dang I didn’t know how bad my old glasses were, until I looked through my new ones! Man!! I felt like singing; “I can see clearly now!”

While we were in Athens we ate at the China Star Buffet. As I was driving out of the parking lot, I looked to my right and saw a man that had set up an easel at the end of the driveway. He was painting a picture….holding the paint brush with his teeth. He had no arms. I slammed on brakes and thankfully the car behind me didn’t hit me or even blow the horn as I quickly dug money out of my purse for Dan to give the man. I cried as I drove off down the highway. So many thoughts were running through my mind. Like wishing I could do more for him and thinking of all the people on disability that shouldn’t even be on disability and here this man is outside in over 90 degree heat with no arms painting pictures with his teeth to try to make a little money. Father God please help him.

Our little Wyatt turned 6 years old on the 18th of June. I can not believe he is six now! Time goes so fast…too fast when it comes to your babies and grandbabies growing up on you.

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That hat he is wearing in the picture is a tad too small on his head now. He has more hats and even got a new one for his birthday, but he will only wear this one! I believe it is like a security blanket to him!

He and his little brother William got to spend an entire week at their other gamma’s house  this past week, so they could go to Vacation Bible school! They were soooo excited! Last year when I asked Wyatt what he learned in Bible School, he told me that he learned that Jesus loved him! Willie didn’t get to go last year, because he was too young. I can’t wait to get  a chance to ask little Willie what he learned this year! (Little Miss Kenzie probably thought she was ‘all that’  being the only kid at home for a week!)

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           Wyatt and William listening to Moses


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            Miss Kenzie with her baby!

You know…no matter how bad I may feel or how blue I may get...

All I have to do is think about the three little munchkins that God blessed us with and I can smile again.

Thank You God for Your blessings on me.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

OLD PHOTOGRAPHS

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I went up to the old home place and went through pictures that my mama had saved during the years. I sorted them out into little piles for each child. ( Now I have got to get them to them.)

Mama never put her pictures in neat little photo albums like most folks do. She had an old cardboard box that she would put them in. Ever so often, as children, she would let us get that old cardboard box out and look through them. It was so hot the day that I went up there and the pictures were no longer in the old cardboard box that I remember as a child, but haphazardly thrown into an old foot locker. I guess the old shoe box either got too little or it fell apart. Sorting those old photographs seem to take forever and some I just had to play ‘guess who’ to know which pile it might belong in. (People, PLEASE write the name of the person or persons in the picture on the back of your photos!! And while you are at it, include the year. ) 

On the back of one of the pictures of my son Daniel, taken when he was two years old, mama had written (in her beautiful penmanship) all the nicknames she had called him as a baby! Names that I had long ago forgotten, but came back to me as soon as I read them.

Down near the bottom of the trunk, I found an article written by Celestine Sibley that mama had cut out of the Atlanta Constitution. That daily newspaper was her one little luxury that she allowed herself back there on Horseshoe Bend. She may have done without almost everything else, but by gosh she got her daily paper to read, bless her heart. It was also the only times that I remember my mama actually sitting down for any length of time. Ask anyone who knew her and they will tell you that she was always up and doing something. She loved reading Celestine Sibley, Lewis Grizzard and Erma Bombeck and would often read them aloud to me. So I too grew to love the very same writers;  Lewis Grizzard  being my favorite.

I continued having her daily paper and the Herald Journal delivered to her at the nursing home for many years. For as long as she could read and understand,  I made sure that she had her paper. That was a promise I made to her and also to myself.

Out in the country, back in the old days, my mama would sit at the table with her cup of coffee reading the newspaper every morning. That coffee would be so strong that it could walk to town and back, as my daddy would say!  She would drink that strong coffee all day long, in summertime as well as wintertime,  hardly ever drinking any water. She use to say she didn’t like the taste of water! ha! Now, I agree that water may be good for your body, but whenever I hear someone say that you need to drink so many glasses of water everyday…I just smile and nod my head and think about my mama living to be 88 years old on that strong as molasses coffee!

Thank You God for the years I had with my precious mama and daddy. I only wish that I had used them more wisely. You know, if your parents are still living…go see them, go talk to them face to face, ask them questions about their parents, their grandparents, about their childhood and the days of their youth…

Do this before all you have left are some old photographs in a foot locker.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

THE GOOD THING IS…

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I have been having all kinds of thoughts that have been running around this old head of mine and for days I have been putting off writing them down, so I guess I need to get them out before they clog up this brain of mine. 

The older I get, the more I realize how blessed I have actually been. Back when I was a little bitty thing on Horseshoe Bend, running around with all my little raggedy brothers and sisters, I thought we were so poor. Good gosh, there was no running water, and after our well went dry, Daddy had to haul water from Mr. Paul’s dairy every day for us to use. Two or three old metal milk cans worth of water… to last one day. Lord have mercy, can you imagine only having that much water to use for everything in a day’s time now? We probably use that much or more in just flushing the toilet! I remember we had an old galvanized metal bucket sitting on the wooden shelf in our kitchen with an aluminum dipper in it for our drinking water. I swear it seems like that water stayed cool to drink even in the summer time. Just like how those old wooden floors and walls felt when our little dirty feet ran across them or touched them…they were always cool.

I can see my sweet mama standing at the table making our big cathead biscuits that we would have for supper with our milk gravy.  No matter what we were having, we always knew there would be milk gravy and biscuits. Sometimes she would use an aluminum glass to cut them out (yes, there were aluminum glasses back then) and sometimes she would just roll them out with her hands.  I do the same way now, except I use a biscuit cutter if I want to be that fancy. Either way, mine will never match up to the deliciousness of my mama’s biscuits. Mama had an old wooden bread bowl that she made those good biscuits up in. It wasn’t a round one, but a long one. She made so many biscuits that she wore the bottom out of it and daddy took a Prince Albert can, I believe, and made it a new bottom! She used it for many more years after that, but some how or the other, down through the years, it finally got broken and gone. I sure wish I had that old bowl now.

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When I was around 13 or 14 years old we moved to the Mill Town section of Greensboro. We had a sink in the kitchen with running water, painted walls, ( Buttercup Yellow in the kitchen!) linoleum rugs, gas space heaters, three bedrooms, and a bathroom complete with tub and a toilet…and I thought I was rich!   I will never forget the first time I heard the mill whistle blow and then the train run by. They scared the living daylights out of me! This was a neat little section of town back then.  Of course back then, in the sixties, the mill was still running and there were basically only the hard working mill employees along with some folks who worked up town ( like my daddy) who lived here. They loved their little homes and yards and took very good care of them, taking pride in keeping them clean and tidy, inside and out; although most were still owned by the Mill. Back then there was such a thing as pride.

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Not so now days. I still live in the same neighborhood, just right around the corner form our old home. It saddens me to see that this area has gotten so run down. I guess it is because nearly all the houses are rentals and the landlords who own them are interested in just that…the rentperiod. If those hard working mill folks could see their beloved homes and yards now days, the graveyards would be jumpin’,  because I bet they would be rolling over in their graves. Even the city itself has abandoned us with the little dirt road that runs right behind my home. It is called Buffalo Street and the only way you would know that now days that it use to be a city street, is by the old street sign that still stands at the end of it. Now days it is a dump. A place where the people who live in the rental homes dump their mattresses, tires, you name it.

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The thing is, you have to stay focused on the good in any situation, and most of all, the good things in your life.  I know that none of us live in a fairy tale land, we all have our problems and heartaches in this old world, but with that being said, if we look hard enough, we will find the good things.

Sure, my neighborhood is run down, but the good thing is; my yard is clean, my son cuts my grass for me  and I keep my house clean. (well, reasonably so! hah)

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My car is over eighteen years old and just this past week had to have a new water pump, a new starter and the air conditioner worked on all at once…but the good thing is; Thank God  I had the emergency money put back and a mechanic that I can trust to fix it. (he even fixed it within a day!) 

The good thing is; I have good Christian employers and a job that I have been at for about 25 years.

The good thing is; God gives me the strength to keep going to my job every week in order to save the money back to fix my car!

I think every bone and muscle in body aches today, but the good thing is, today I can still use my arms, my legs and my muscles, when there are some who can’t.

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I’ve got to get some new glasses, but the good thing is, I may not see well, but I can still see and am able to see all God’s beautiful creations; from the pretty azaleas in my yard to my sweet grandchildren’s faces.

I can’t hear worth a toot any more, but the good thing is; I may not hear well, but I can still hear and have heard so many wonderful sounds…my mama’s soothing voice as a child, my newborn babies first cries, my children’s and then later on my grandchildren's laughter, mine and Danny's wedding vows and the many, many times he said; “I love you more Carlene”…some folks aren’t that lucky.

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Praise GOD, aren’t we BLESSED?!!

GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

EASTER AT MY HOUSE

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I got up this morning and put my clothes on and ran out the door. I had to go to the Dollar Store to get my graham crackers for the ├ęclair cake I was making. (I get my graham crackers at the Dollar Store because they are a lot cheaper there than at regular grocery stores.) I am in a hurry. I need to get this and get back home, get the cake made and then get a shower and go to Church. I rush in the store, grab the crackers and rush back out and jump in my car and turn the key….nothing happens.
I get out and lift the hood and look at the battery wires. See, I have been having trouble with them. I assume it is because of the age of the car that the wires have began to ravel. After all, the car is over 18 years old.  I nudge the wires a little bit, then get back into my car and turn the ignition….nothing. So I call my son-in-law.
Of all times, my grandson answers the phone…something he has never done when I call. He says; “hello?”  I say;  “hey baby, will you put mommy on the phone?” He says; “hey maw-maw!” and so again I ask him to put mommy on the phone…I hear him telling mommy to come to the phone and I breathe a sigh of relief…but then I hear, “Who is it son?” and I hear him telling her that it is maw-maw. Next, I hear her telling him that she is busy right now, so to please just talk to maw-maw for a few minutes until she can come to the phone! He comes back to the phone and says in his sweet little sing song voice, “ what ya doing maw-maw?”
Lord have mercy.
I say, “ baby go tell mommy it is an emergency.” He asks me what I said. I repeated, “it is an emergency…go tell mommy it is an emergency” 
He says, “it is what maw-maw?” 
Oh Lord.
So I repeat it….twice more….and I finally hear him going to his mommy saying, “ mommy, maw-maw says it’s an mercency.”  I hear Amanda say, “A what?” Then  I hear her saying, “give me the phone quickly please.”  Finally!
Thank You Jesus.
I tell Amanda my problem and then she hands the phone to Kelvin. He tells me he will be there in 15 minutes.
Praise God.
While I am waiting in the car, I call my sister-in-law and talk to her for about 10 minutes, then I hang up and decide on a whim to try to crank the car again….and of all things, it cranked…right as Kelvin was driving up beside me. I tell him how it just cranked and he got me to lift the hood so he can check the wires. Sure enough one was loose from the post. So he fixed it the best he could and told me to go on to Ingles and if I had trouble to try to catch him before he left town. Well, I went to Ingles, got my groceries and came back out and there sat Kelvin..parked right beside my car!  God bless his heart. He told me to make sure the car would crank, so  I got in and turned the key and …it wouldn’t crank.
Oh Lord.
Kelvin hooks it up to the jumper cables and we try again…..nothing! He takes a wrench and taps on something and tells me to try it again and….. it cranked! The something he was tapping on is my starter. Soooooo,  I guess I will be putting my car in the shop tomorrow.
Help me Jesus.
I am upset because I so wanted to go to Church today. Instead, since it was so late when I got home, I just began making the chocolate ├ęclair cake I had planned on taking to my children and grandchildren.  Then I fixed Dan and me something to eat.
As I was saying the blessing over our food…..as I thanked Our Heavenly Father for what He did for us on this blessed day…you know what?
I felt His presence.
I truly believe God was with us here in our little Mill Town house.
But then  again, didn’t he tell us that,He is always with us.”
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Happy Easter my friends.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A MESSAGE FROM HEAVEN

Have you ever felt like you wanted to do the right thing, yet something kept holding you back?  You try and try and try again,  and yet  it seems like every obstacle there is will jump in front of you…
Well,that’s how I felt this morning.
Lately I have been trying to go to Church a little more often. I feel better when I go. So, I went to work yesterday thinking; “ I am going to Church tomorrow.” Then  I went to bed last night thinking; “I am going to Church tomorrow.”
Well, this morning, for the first time in a very, very long time, I slept late…and I mean late…like 10:22 am late!  ( Church starts at 11:00 am.) After jumping up and taking the pups for their morning walk, I gathered my Sunday clothes and headed toward the bathroom for a quick shower. The whole time something was whispering in my ear that , “It’s too late you know, you are going to be way too late getting there. It’s pouring down rain, you may as well just have a seat and drink your coffee and not go”.
Well, I said a quick, “get thee behind me satan”, then went ahead and took my shower. Getting out, I reached for my hair dryer.
I dropped it.
I picked it up. I put it’s plug in the electrical outlet and the dryer didn't come on!
As soon as I pushed the reset button though, it came on, thank goodness. 
It took a lot of determination and effort, but in the end, I was able to make it to Church just in time.
The pastor even met me at the front door!
My cousin, Dianne, (who favors my mama a lot),  plays the piano at our Church and sometimes, the preacher will sing for us. During this morning’s service, our pastor sang a beautiful hymn while Dianne played.  Although I have already forgotten the name of the song, I will always remember the tune it was sang to…
“Oh, Danny Boy”
The very song my mama played on the piano, and also sang to my husband, Danny, I know a million times.
I had never known that there was a church hymn set to the music of “Oh Danny Boy” before today, but what  I do know is this:
I had the sweetest, most peaceful feeling come over me this morning as I sat there in our little Church and listened to it.
I think there were two forces working on me this morning….the evil one; who was trying his best to keep me home…and God, who had a little message for my old heart. A message that He was trying His best to pass along to me.
A message that was straight from Heaven.
Thank YOU Jesus. To GOD be the Glory.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Memories

I thought I was prepared for it. After all, she had not even known who I was for a while now.  I guess it is because I KNEW WHO SHE WAS and my love for her ran so deep, that I am at a loss now. I know she wasn't the perfect mother, but then again who among us can say; that we were the perfect parents?

I sure can’t.

I think of all the hardships she faced. Lord, just the way we were living back on Horseshoe Bend, had I been the one to care for 6 little kids like that, I would have been driven mad. Just think of it…days on end with nothing but milk gravy and biscuits to eat, no running water, no heat (except for a wood stove ). Not even a drop of paint on the wooden walls to make things just a little bit nicer. We always said that there were cracks in the old wooden floor boards big enough for our cats to fall through…ha!

I remember mama coming in the house in her old long coat with a wool scarf around her head. Her cheeks and lips would be chapped red, her eyebrows frozen, and her nose dripping from the freezing cold..and she had been out there chopping wood for that old stove, just so we could be warm.

I remember how she use to wring the chickens heads off so we could every once in a while have fried chicken. It has came to me in my later years, that it had to have hurt her to do this. After all, she LOVED those chickens like pets. Many a time I remember her petting them and loving on them…but she also knew her kids had to eat and truth is that fried chicken with  the milk gravy was sooooo good. I think back now and know that the reason she always claimed that she loved the back and the neck was because it had less meat. You see, that way we children could have the bigger and better parts.

When I had rheumatic fever as a child and had to spend all those many long days and nights out there in the hospital, it was she who stayed with me and mopped my fevered brow. It was she who kept me company, tended to me and comforted me…she never left me. I was her baby and she never let me forget that.

I remember her having to go to Atlanta to get the veins in her legs stripped and have the liquid that burned like fire injected in her legs. She had to take a greyhound bus from Greensboro all the way to the Atlanta bus terminal. (Remember she was just a country girl and had to have felt lost in the big city of Atlanta.) She would leave the bus station and walk to Peachtree street to the doctor who did these torturous treatments on her. Then afterwards, they would let her lay down for a bit.  She had to have been in so much pain, but after she had rested for only a few minutes, she would have to walk all the way back to the bus terminal. ( I know all this, because being that I was not yet in school, she took me with her. She held my little hand tightly as we walked and navigated those streets of Atlanta. ) So she had a small child to tend to also.

A few years after I was born, she lost a child due to the mistakes of doctors who thought she had a tumor, but in reality that tumor was a baby. ( I saddens me to know that now days that baby probably would have survived.) Years later, when I was grown, she would tell me that her baby was fully formed, that it was a little girl and that she got to see her. I remember her saying that the doctors delivered the baby and laid her on the table next to her . My mama saw her baby girl take one little breath and then die. Mama told me she would have named the baby girl Shirley Jean and she thought how odd that years later, one of her son’s had married not once, but twice; ladies named Shirley Jean.

My mama was a kid at heart. She would get out there on Horseshoe Bend and ride bikes with me and my sister, play on the swing set with us, and also chase us around the house with any bug she could get her hands on! She would give us spoons, saucers, cups, and old pans to play in the dirt making mud pies.

She was the forever prankster. In later years, she would have most all the grandkids sleeping over at her house in town in the summertime. They would all sleep in the front bedroom. This was the bedroom that had the window opening onto the front porch. After the kids had gone to bed, they would of course be giggling and going on. She would wait a little bit, then sneak out on the porch and scratch at the window screen and make spooky noises!! You should have seen those young-uns falling over themselves running into the kitchen…. where mama was now sitting calmly, playing cards with our Aunt, our Daddy, or one of us grown children. hah!

She loved playing jokes on people and that didn’t stop when she got older. When it came time for her to have home health care aids and nurses in her home, she would set her coffee cup on the kitchen table and then when one of the nurses came by, she would ask them to bring it to her in the living room. When they would pick the empty cup up and see the (fake) giant cock roach, or spider, etc. sitting in the bottom of it, of course they would holler, and Mama loved it!

 
At mama’s funeral, during the visitation time, some of the nurses and health care aides came to sign the register. They talked about how they hadn’t realized that mama could play the piano, until Paige set her in front of it and she played tunes for them! They told about how she always loved to make people laugh.

The one thing they said though, that really touched my heart was this…

“Miss Lindsey, always,  every time we went into her room, told us ALL how much she loved us.”

One of them then added ; “Your mama didn’t know color; she knew love.”

Yep..that about sums it up.

Rest in peace mama and yes I promise, I will always be your baby.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL.