About Me~, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Discarded Treasures ~

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I approached quietly , and left

a small piece of my heart,

on the  park  bench.

As if somehow leaving it there,

meant I was waiting for the day , no , not even the day,

my life!

to start,

for some permission.

Would he see it?

Would he care?

Or would it simply be one more

discarded, tumbled, forgotten grubby lost unknown treasure. I watch with all the hopes , despairs, confusions, joys, consternation…………. Abruptly  , the man who lives in the apartment above me  grabs my arm , and with  sudden fervor

pulls me down from my window perch , where I watch so anxiously . Racing , with a strength I would not , no , could not have thought his own bird-like body could possess,  hurriedly we go, skipping first one step , and then two steps at a time ………..and then we are there.

The bench.

The boy.

And me, the  girl. I am standing , out of breath, trying to think of the words to explain .

The painted rock.

The old man.

I am only a child  here.

My words are jumbled.

There is  nothing  for me to  say, it is  just a grubby , lost unknown treasure, I mumble.

It is okay, the boy  says. The old man is his uncle. The boy  is NOT new here, the old man says,  he has  seen that you like books, and walks. And benches. And wanting  to learn about quiet things, like that which is  discarded, and hopes, and unknown treasures. And  in time, together , you   will  think of the right words to explain.

About Me~, Uncategorized, Writing

One for Our Column~

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Yesterday was such a lovely day . I woke early and the world woke  with me , with  all the hints  that everything good might happen. My body even tempted me with promises of less joint pain, and energy enough to take a small walk down our lane into the sun-tinged air. The wee red fox who calls our farm home greeted me shyly on my way back as if to say, “Happy to see you out today! ” The birds went about their daylight  business looking for their breakfasts and for one golden moment I had a dawn  that reminded me of what my life had been like so many years ago. I did laundry, straightened my kitchen, and walked barefoot through my tomato patch as I had  done so many times as a tomboyish 10 year old , and my Grandpa was one row over again urging me , “Make sure you get them tommytoes off the bottom vines  there, PeeWee!” . I wish I could have captured that moment in  a mason jar, as we used to do the fireflies , to open today , for sometime in the middle of the night ; the tordol, dexemethesone combo wore off, and the lupus pain came rushing back in , with all the fury of a caged beast  , seemingly  all the more angry for having been denied its one day. I want to say I’d never had that one moment , that one day, but if I did  I’d be lying. If we are all honest with ourselves, we would trade a hundred days , a thousand days , and we HAVE traded them, to get that ONE . That ONE magical day that brings back those gilt-lit days of joy, laughter, memories, barefoot -garden days, sun-warmed beach days, child-filled swing -in-the-park -days, those days where we shake our fists at lupus, at chemo, at whatever has stolen our glitter from our lives, and say , “YOU DIDN’T GET THIS ONE!! THIS ONE BELONGED TO ME!!”  , just so we can  put a chalk-mark in OUR column , no matter how small, and continue on.

About Me~, Uncategorized, Writing

Wings~

 

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Happiest of Tuesdays to you EveryBUDDY! I hope today finds you doing the best you can with what you have. Sometimes that’s all we can do. The best that we can. Sometimes not even that. Sometimes we can’t even give it our all. There are days we can only give it our “some”. And the perfectionist in me is learning to be okay with that. I am very blessed in that I married a man who is perfectly okay if the house is not spotless every day. I do NOT have to look like a supermodel when I roll out of the bed in the mornings. ( Thank the Good Lord above. ) He met me when I was already very ill , and married me anyway. Needless to say it pretty much all went downhill from there. If angels walk among us, I’m pretty sure he hides his under his grease stained overalls. I read  very frequently a question that gets asked on my lupus page, from many of my followers, who are just beginning their journeys with this insidious disease, the question I most dread hearing. “Does it get better?” They can usually mean a few things by this. Sometimes they mean the treatment they receive from friends and family members. As in , “Does the treatment from them get better? Will they understand? Will they be more compassionate and helpful?” I wish I could say yes. But mostly , sadly, the answer is “No.” People , in large part, don’t “Get it” unless they GET IT , and that is something we don’t really wish on anyone. Sometimes they mean , “Will my illness get better?” And the answer to that is a resounding “No. ” as well. Oh how I wish I could say, “Oh yes! The doctors are so helpful. The treatments are wonderful. And the support is great. You’ll be back to yourself in no time. ” But it’s just not true. The best I can wish for them is a period of “remission” a short respite of ease . Now for those of you reading this thinking, “Well aren’t you being a Debbie Downer today??” I don’t mean it to be! I really mean it to be positive, so that when you see someone WITH a disease like we have , you will TRULY understand how HARD we fight to STAY positive. We must make up our own minds EVERY SINGLE DAY that we are going to live to see above the trees.  EVERY minute to smile through horrible pain. Our bodies literally hate us. And no amount of King’s Men can put our Humpty Dumpty’s back together again. So we must make the best go of it that we can, and oil our flying machines.  If we seem triumphant over some small thing, please remember that maybe even walking down the hall to our bedroom was like a 10K . Standing long enough to cook spaghetti was like a marathon. Taking one of our meds off our list , is relative to soaring over  Everest. These are the measures we count our lives by. So please. Don’t take offense if we don’t seem like “our old selves”. It’s been a long , long time since some of us even remember what that was like. Smile with us in the now. You don’t have to “HAVE IT ” to “GET IT”   🙂  Our bodies might seem to  be falling apart, but our spirits are still the same on the inside.  The wings might be bent, but not broken, at least, not for long. Come fly with us.

About Me~, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

What’s It Really Worth?

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A million dollars. Say someone walks up to you and just gives you a million dollars . No strings attached. They don’t want anything from you, you don’t have to do anything for it, they don’t need anything from you, they just walk up to you , hand it to you , and walk away. What would you buy? Do you immediately know? Do you have a list? It’s funny isn’t it? Suddenly you have all this money , it’s yours just to blow ! I’ve had this very scenario in my head a dozen times. And you know what? I can’t think of a SINGLE thing I’d rush out and buy. Not one.It just suddenly doesn’t seem all that important anymore.  My home is paid for. It might not be what anyone else would call a mansion , but I’ve never cared about that. The land it sits on belonged to my Pappaw , who thought it the most beautiful spot of land in the world, so beautiful that he died here, which makes it worth more than money to me.  My van is paid for. It’s not new, but it goes up and down the road. That’s what cars are supposed to do , right? Take you up and down the highway? I’ve got clothes to keep me warm, clothes to keep me cool , blankets to cover up the beds, food in the icebox, a couple of old dogs to bark if company comes. My Momma and Daddy are still living, right next door.Some things money just can’t buy. There’s no price tag you can attach. To happiness. To the people you find it with. Or the memories you made with them.  I find it funny sometimes to see all those people in the magazines and on the television shows talking about how their houses cost more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes. More money than our entire state budgets even. Then you read that they get divorced, remarried,  and all the unhappiness that follows them. You wonder if maybe they wouldn’t be a little better to follow the advice of John Anderson in that old song “Black Sheep”.

My daddy was a brakeman on a highball traveling train
Mama she raised four little children and the family had a good name
And papa and mama wanted all for us they never had
Big brother little brother sister too none of them turned out half bad
‘Cept me I’m the black sheep of the family

Big brother went to college and became a doctor man
I guess he makes about a million dollars a year off the folks on insurance plans
He’s got a big long Mercedes Benz and a house overlooking the town
He sits in his Jacuzzi and he watches the sun go down
And he feels real sorry for me, I’m the black sheep of the family

Yeah I drive me a big ol’ semi truck I’m makin’ payments on a two room shack
My wife she waits on tables and at night she rubs my back
And I tell her what my papa said to my mama when he got off the highball train
Wake me up early be good to my dogs and teach my children to pray

Little sister married a banker yeah he owns a country club
He bought her a big ol’ racing horse and a funky lookin’ little dog
He buys her big rings and diamonds and a brand new Japanese yacht
Yeah, they like to get together and talk about all the things they’ve got
But they never mention me, naw,  I’m the black sheep of the family

Yeah, I drive me a big ol’ semi truck I’m makin’ payments on a two room shack

My wife she waits on tables and at night she rubs my back

And I tell her what my papa said to my mama when he got off the highball train,

Wake me up early be good to my dogs, and teach my children to pray.

I beg ya woman, wake me up early , be good to my dogs, and teach my children to pray.

 

Seems like maybe we could all do worse than to live our lives a little more like that.

About Me~, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

Carry it with you when you go………

 

 

10392064_1026918694047470_4501905245649217180_n (1)Did you just ever have one of those months where it all seemed to pile up on you ? The news , the negativity , the gossip, the baleful oil of the sheer sliminess piling up in wave upon wave until it  just seems determined to pull you under the weight of it? That’s what it seemed like this last month. So much so that I turned off my FB , my Twitter, my blog, and all my communications. That’s not all that new of a step for me. I have been known to go off-grid for as long as two years without even a television. When my husband and I got married we owned no computer, no television, no telephone, no washer or dryer, and lived 10 miles from the largest chain store. Lest you think I was some sort of a hermit, I worked at a library, had lots of friends, enjoyed chatting  with certain people, and not just with “conspiracy nuts”. But anywho, I digress. It’s 2016 now, and apparently in this century it’s  considered en vogue to have  a certain number of such  kooky friends. There however seems to be a pallor hanging over the universe these days. If you so  much as even dare to breathe a smile in someone’s direction it is deemed a hostile action. I ventured forth into town to do my weekly shopping and it was as if I had forayed into a war zone. “How dare I smile in the general area of the shoppers in the aisle I was on?!?” It was as if I had thrown poison darts in the path of their cart! “What right had I to be happy?!? What reason had I to be so cheerful in the store for crying out loud?” HMMPPH! It was unseemingly.  I don’t know why it bothers me so badly . Why do I want so much for the world to be a positive place?  Sometimes I swear it is a losing battle, and I wonder if people have made it their own personal mission to dampen as many people’s moods as possible while out and about on their daily jaunt. Well, I hereby declare that I REFUSE TO LOSE! THAT’S RIGHT, YOU HEARD IT HERE  FIRST! I am making it my own personal mission to get a smile from each person I pass. You will not dampen my mood. You will not rain on my parade, and you will not squash my happiness. So, if you take offense at my smile, I feel genuinely sorry for you. I hate that you are having a bad day, and I hate that things are not working out well for you. But I am going to smile just the same. That is my philosophy for today, my philosophy for tomorrow and for all the tomorrows from now on! So hopefully I am leaving you with a little bit of my smile for today, and maybe you can carry it with you for the rest of today !

About Me~, Uncategorized, Writing

A Bible, a Bogg, and a Blessing ~

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It’s been a crazy couple of weeks here the last couple of weeks, at our house. We’ve been getting ready for “Bogg Week”. For those of you scratching your heads just now, that’s Arkansas Southern Baptist speak for Bogg Springs Baptist camp week. A whole week of craziness that requires packing enough clothes for two teenagers that seemingly turns into enough clothes for an army. Yet somehow they return home with clothes for not even ONE child. They go clean , excited, and revved. They decamp; dirty, tired, but spiritually revived, and having made new friends. I know a lot of people think how great it is to have their kids gone from their house . Well, let me tell you. I am NOT one of them. I enjoy their noise, I enjoy the energy that their big growing teenage bodies fill our house with. I do NOT enjoy knowing that they are not here down the hall in their room; THAT  is a very empty feeling indeed. So my bedside Bible has been a particular comfort these last couple of days. As they are 15 and 17 , I know soon enough they will make career choices that will take them far away from me. I WILL be happy, I SWEAR!! 🙂 I will be proud! It will mean I have done what I set out to do , those very short years ago, to send them out clean, excited , and revved. And to let them know , it’s always okay, to come home and decamp; dirty, tired, so that you can spiritually revive. Home should always be like that . It is your greatest blessing. I know mine still is. Today , finding myself in need of a little bit of that refreshment myself, I hied myself up the hill to the shade of the old oak  and rocked with my Daddy awhile. So whether it’s the Bible, the Bogg, the old oak, or wherever you find yourself today, don’t forget you CAN still  find your refreshment in God today.

About Me~, Uncategorized, Writing

My Way, or the Highway………

 

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Commercial advertising these days has become somewhat of a conundrum for me lately.  On the one hand, I think some of the creativity is quite hysterical. The little mini -pony who is shunned by the bigger horses, so his owner orders him a “pony-door”, so he might enter the house ,  thereby rendering his larger pony buddies jealous. Or the long-running gag of the pistachio consortium with celebrities  saying things like , “Ms. Piggy does it like a diva.” But, humor being few and far between, I have noticed a disturbing trend lately.  Commercials more and more often , “man bash“. The advertising execs in these  companies  seem to think that the way to get a woman to buy a product ( ANY PRODUCT!) , is to make the  male of the species feel as though he were nothing more than  a single -celled amoeba on the bottom of the gene pool.  In the first instance I call to you attention the commercial for dishwasher packets . The kindly husband has gone to the store and done the shopping, bringing home the “wrong” brand of detergent. His wife then proceeds to tell him all the reasons WHY he was wrong for getting “THAT” brand, until he meekly says, “I’m going back to the store , aren’t I?”  to which she says, “Yes. Yes you are.” Not one thank you did he get for going shopping in the first place, nor did his wife say, I should have been more specific about what kind we needed. NO. It was automatically the man’s fault, and he was made to look stupid. Another of this type of commercial that is  going around is the one where the husband is changing the baby’s diaper on top of the kitchen counter. Again the woman rolls her eyes, and makes a big show of using a cleaner to wipe off the counter. This type of sexism is not limited to commercials for adults either. If you ever have time to just sit and really pay attention to the advertisements , it seeps into the products for children as well. On a certain peelable orange companies commercials, little girls are blatantly allowed to mean to their little brothers, where if this behavior were reversed, there’d be an uproar! It’s everywhere in society, seemingly parents teaching their girls younger and younger, that “Boys are stupid.”  “ Girls are better.” And why shouldn’t they teach their daughters that, this generation of women seems to feel that way themselves.  I’ve heard women speak about their husbands in ways that I found totally shocking. “Why bother asking your husband to do it, he’ll just screw it up anyway?”  , “There’s no way I’d send my husband to the store, he’d never get the shopping right. , “He tried to fold the laundry for me the other day, and it was a joke. I had to completely refold it.” It has to be their way or the highway, and heaven forbid their husband have a different opinion than theirs, or they will run him over like three-legged dog.   Where is all this blatant disrespect for men coming from? Whatever happened to being proud of your mate, and letting him know he’s appreciated for what he does? Listening to HIS thoughts and ideas, and using his input?  Of course he’s not “perfect“, but last time I checked , these “ladies” runnin’ their mouths off , weren’t paragons of perfection themselves!  How much better would our relationships be if we gave credit where credit was due, ” Thanks babe, for getting the soap at the store.” or,  “I sure appreciate you taking the time to fold the clothes. ”  What’ s really more important, that it was done  “the RIGHT way”, or that it was done with love?  And it doesn’t hurt to brag on your husband to someone else every now and again. I know I was blessed by the Good Lord above with my husband.  He might not BE perfect, but he’s perfectly suited to me,  and I want everyone to know that I am proud to call him mine!

About Me~, Uncategorized, Writing

Biscuits, Bay Rum and Chocolate Gravy

 

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The smells all start to swirl before you ever even open the door. Hot pancake syrup, and homemade biscuits. It calls to you , like your grandmother’s kitchen from long ago. Like cast iron stoves , with wood stoked to just the right temperature. They open early , and if you’re local you know, the time to get your breakfast is when the sun is just starting to show,  over the mountain above the lake.  The elderly gents put on their Sunday’s bests , and gather in the same groups that they’ve formed in since I was a child. The waitresses know just how everyone wants their coffee, and by unspoken reservation, certain corners are set aside for the chosen few.  Being here brings back the memories of my wooden gangly -legged days when my body was  stuck somewhere between being my PapPaw’s farm hand , and the beginnings of a “real” girl.

Now that I’m all grown up I love sitting in the corner, and letting the smell of Old Bay Rum aftershave, tractor grease from the farmer’s overalls, crispy bacon ,and  chocolate gravy wash over me . You don’t need a computer, or a phone, most of the time, the waitresses and patrons are more than happy to chat with you about the weather, what’s growing in their gardens, or just how life’s treatin’ them in general. No one’s going to hurry you off from your table, the waitress is happy to come top off your coffee , as many times as you want.  So fill yourself up with sausage,  a great fried egg, or  maybe even a flapjack bigger than your head. Just sitting here in the Cafe’ will show you a slice of what life is like in our little town. The people are friendly, the food is good, and it will show you why, we enjoy livin’ life in the slow lane.

Lots of big cities might have all that variety, and excitement, and when the tourists come, and ask that question, that they all can’t help but ask, “What do you DO here??”  I’d tell them, “Go on down to Em’s Cafe’ for breakfast. Sit and drink coffee. Set a spell and visit.”, and it won’t take you long  , til you figure out, just what it IS we DO here. And who knows, ya’ just might like it.

About Me~, Uncategorized, Writing

My Husband Thy Name Is……….Hipster??

 

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You know trends come and go . That’s the way things work. Always has been . Always will be. People just SWEAR. Oh em gee, swear………..that will NEVER be “IN” again. Never. “Ugh. Can you believe she’s wearing that blue eyeshadow???  THAT will never be in again!” HA. “He is rolling the cuffs of his pants. That WILL NEVER be in again.” And on and on it goes. I’ve never been much of a trend follower, or setter or anything like that. I’ve always kind of just done what I liked, if you liked it “Huzzah!” if not, well, then , “Keep right on walkin’, withya’.” The funny thing is, my taste in men has pretty much always been the same. I like them to look oddly enough, like, well, “MEN”. As in Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, Thomas Jane, John Wayne, The Marlboro Man ( Which I think actually WAS Tom Selleck at one point.) I do not want these airbrushed, gleaming , seals of things that they  do in  commercials these days for colognes that smell like they think the ocean is “supposed” to smell like.  Men are supposed to smell like outside, the REAL outside. And machinery. And grease. And hard work. And dirt. And to look they could muss you up and MESS UP  someone for thinking of mussing you up. So here’s the where it gets hysterical . I married a lumberjack. A literal lumberjack. Whose job it was at the time we married  to go out into the woods , and take down enormous trees with a saw. A logger. Yes. Had been his whole life. That and a diesel mechanic. His standard look twenty years ago was beard, glasses , plaid or checkered shirt, and boots. I thought he was sex on a stick. My friends thought I was nuts. His style was twenty years out of date, and they thought it was bananas. “What does she see in him?” and “Why does he dress like that?” “No one dresses like that anymore. That style will NEVER be in again!” Fast forward twenty years . We’re sitting in a restaurant about an hour from our hometown. Casually dining, I notice that the much younger attractive waitress is eyeing my husband in his winter hat, plaid shirt, jeans , rimmed glasses, and boots. I finally laugh as she moves away from the table. He asks me “What??” I say, “She was totally flirting with you!” “Why ?”, he says.  “Oh you’re the new it thing. Lumbersexual , it’s called. I kid you not.”  I thought he would pass out. What’s old is new again indeed. HA! Oh , and by the way ladies, I see you looking…………………

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My husband of twenty years with his “hip” beard.

About Me~, Poetry, Writing

Forty -Nine~

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Stars Collide

Only sixteen, 

I was a mess of clumsy limbs, 

with my head going faster than my feet most days.

Tangled curls of black hair, forever in my eyes.

He was tall, 

his eyes as green as the leafy oaks in summer.

In that moment,

the world somehow seemed,

as if gravity were suddenly released .

And I knew, 

knew that if I didn’t make him mine,

I would fly off into space un-moored,

forever losing something 

cosmically wonderful.

So I took hold 

of his lumber-scarred hands,

and I’ve never let him go.

Ruby Jeanette Woods

Happiest of birthdays to the love of my life,

Thank you for all you are, and for making the world a kinder , gentler place.

I’m a better person because I know you.