A Blank Page


There is something about a blank page that bugs me. It doesn’t matter if it is on my computer screen or a real piece of paper, it screams out for something, anything, to be written or drawn on it to make it unique.

When my kids were little, paper was a way to keep them entertained for all of two minutes while I made a bathroom stop. A notebook and pencil in my purse or diaper bag was a must to hold off boredom in places like restaurants and church. As they got older, we used paper and pencils to write words, and draw pictures to go with them. Sometimes, if we were in an appropriate, and sometimes not appropriate, place we would make paper airplanes, or fans, or anything we could by folding paper. It was a useful tool.

Then, when my kids were teenagers, before we all had text messaging, they left me notes on the fridge, the front door, in my car, and sometimes, on me, to remind me of things they needed or places they needed to be. I did the same for them and for my husband. Notes became an every day way of communicating in a busy teenage household.

But always, through the years, writing down my life was a part of my daily routine. I filled pages of paper in journals telling my story. Then I started writing down imaginary stories, always trying to write something that would teach, lead, or entertain others. I wrote letters, by hand, and notes saying Thank You, or You Are Invited To An Event, to others. I wrote love letters to my husband, and letters of appreciation and admonition to my children and grandchildren. I wrote the histories of my ancestors, and reams of papers for college courses.

Today, I still write every day. Sometimes it is just a blog, sometimes I work on a book or a short story, sometimes I just write an email, a response on social media, or to my elected officials. Like reading every day, writing is as much a part of my life as breathing. I can’t imagine being unable to do either.

So, today, when I was faced with a blank page, I thought about how important it is to write things down. Because once you are gone, and your children are gone, who will remember what you said, how you though, or the feelings that filled your life? This is your chance to put down the words that mean something to you. This is your time to tell your own story, opine on your ideas and dreams, and your time to say what you really think about any and every subject that comes to mind.

Every personal story is important. Without personal accounts of events, real history will be lost to the ages. All that will be left is what the professional politicians had to say, or the media of the day had to say, not what every day people had to say about a moment in time. Daily grind events are just as important as life changing events. And in the future, some many times great grandchild will sit in wonder reading what you really thought, did, or felt in your life. It will amaze, thrill, and surprise them with the turn of every page. Write it down. Inquiring minds will want to know.

A blank page is an opportunity. Don’t waste it.

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Every Day Heroes


A friend told me about an accident she and her husband came upon the other day. A car was on fire, and someone was trying to get out. Her husband jumped out of their vehicle and ran to help him get out, stayed with him until medical people arrived to fly the injured driver out to a hospital. Her husband was banged up a bit, but fine. Everyone was commenting on how much of a hero he was for helping and putting himself at risk. She demurred. I wrote in her comment section the following.

“Heroes are every day people who do extraordinary things without worrying about the consequences.”

I thought on that later, and I have come to the decision that all of us are everyday heroes during our lives. Often we don’t think of our actions as heroic or special. We simply react to what is happening in the best way we can. Sometimes it is helping someone survive a horrific accident. Sometimes it is taking soup to a sick friend. Sometimes it is a listening ear, and sometimes a swift kick in the attitude of someone having a pity party.

Saving a life is a big deal. It is a lot of responsibility and takes someone with inner strength of steel and granite to do what has to be done. Pulling someone out of burning building, out of the twin towers; running into the line of fire to rescue someone, standing up to the local bully to protect someone; leaving the abusive spouse, male or female, and taking the children with you; moving back home to take care of aging parents and giving up your plans to raise a child you didn’t expect to raise. All of those are heroic things. It takes guts, selflessness, and a willingness to deal with unforeseen consequences due to your actions to fulfill the title of hero.

Some people have jobs that are more like callings which are intrinsically heroic. Fire fighters, Law enforcement, Military men and women, Emergency Medical Personnel, are all in highly dangerous occupations. People are willing to accept those dangers. They train and work hard to gain the skills to do their jobs to the highest degree of proficiency. They are heroic in going out into the harsh world and fulfilling their duty.

Some people are heroes for taking on responsibility that they didn’t sign up for in their lives. They don’t run into burning buildings or chase down criminals, nor do they go out and put an end to evil regimes that threaten their countries and ours. These are the average moms and dads who sacrifice career advancements, educational opportunities, and being upwardly mobile so that one of them can stay home and raise their children. These are the single moms and dads, who, for whatever reason, are raising their children without benefit of a spouse. These are the single parents who are working, going to school full time, and being a mom or dad too. They could easily drop the kids into the system, hand them off to grandparents or other family members, but choose to be the mom and dad, provider, and give up personal time to be the best parent they can be.

There are heroes who teach, guide, lead, discover, and reach out to students who are on the verge of becoming another statistic to the poverty, gangs, and violence of their cultural world. Older men and women who set out to be an example to younger men and women, becoming a mentor and someone who believes in a young man or woman who has never had an advocate for their potential. And some heroes who coach and shape young people into strong, independent, thinking adults become the silent hero in the lives of the lonely, lost, and ignored. Most of them never know they made a difference just by their example.

And there are the every day people who reach out to everyone around them with friendship. Sometimes all it takes is just one person to change the life of another in a positive way after the slings and arrows of life has beaten them down. To the one they helped, they are doing something extraordinary. They cared enough to encourage someone on the abyss to keep going, not to give up, and ask for nothing in return. Sometimes all it takes is one person, just one, to change the trajectory of the world for another lost or grieving soul. Who is your hero?

Every day people, doing extraordinary things . . . think about it.

Living in Her World


She lives in a world of princess dolls, tea sets, and toy horses, each enhanced with her imagination into a fantasy world of unending play and drama. She has deep conversations and interaction between her dolls and horses, and a tea party will include every toy she can find and her grandfather. She dances, prances, twirls, all in her tutu of the day – without an ounce of self conscious behavior.

In her world, everyone is expected to understand the rules that she sets forth and changes from moment to moment. It is her world after all. Her princesses posture, argue, share, and talk for hours, just like people in the grown up world. However, it is all driven by the imagination, intelligence, and curiosity of a four year old girl. When I over hear her say something that sound remarkably like something I have said to her, or her Mommy has said, it makes me smile. There are time she sounds amazingly mature, and other times it is clear she is fully engrossed in some magical moment of discovery.

In her world, her teddy bear, toy cat, and prized princess horse can have an intense conversation over pretend tea and cookies, while her imaginary sisters squabble in the background. I don’t know how she keeps the story lines straight. Maybe it doesn’t matter, because it is her world and subject to change without notice. And, like it or not, those of us on the peripheral are involved when we are needed to further the narrative.

Living in her world includes frequent costume changes, and requires a fashion show for each change. Sometimes it requires a new way of doing up her hair, different shoes, and a full change from the skin out. She dances her way through the day, fully aware of her beauty, and proud of her ability to be a princess one moment and a baby the next.

In her world, where she displays supreme self confidence and control, she has no fear, except a fear of the dark. She faces monsters, outrageous characters, stubborn dolls, and the occasional grumpy horse that needs a talking to. She laughs and dances through the story, the moment, the magic. And, at the end of her day, she crawls into her Papa’s lap, asking for a story to go to sleep by. Then, the next day, that story finds its way into her world, continuing on in her imagination.

Living in her world is a delight, a blessing, and an unending adventure. Her favorite living companion is her Papa, who willingly joins her world, and deeply misses her when she is away. We are old, she is young, but with her in our lives, in our hearts, we have learned to play again. Time to go see what is next, a tea party or a pretend trip to the barn. Either way, we will be in her world, and it will be an adventure worth remembering.

Family Reunion


Last weekend, I took my mother to a family reunion down in Texas. I hadn’t been to an event like that as an adult. I knew three people in the entire room, one was my mother. I felt odd, awkward, out of place, and strange. As a mature female of over 60, it was like being back in junior high where everyone else had gone to school together forever and I was the new kid. Awkward.

So, I sucked up my shyness and talked about genealogy, family history, and said hello a lot. I also smiled a lot and I ate far too much good food. It is no wonder all of my family tends toward the round shape, the good cooking gene runs in the family line.

As a child, I grew up away from my parent’s home town. We lived all over the place with the military, and as an adult my husband and I both wanted to be on the move. So I don’t really understand knowing all about one’s cousins, aunts, uncles, and extended family. I know my dead relatives better than the living because I am a family history addict. I am a bit like the odd duck in the family.

They grew up together, or at least with knowledge of one another. And that was a great thing to see. My memories of my grandparents are strong, and real, but these cousins are from different places than my branch of the tree. Still, you could see the solidarity, love, and strength in knowing their family was there in any time of need.

My mother loved every minute, she had looked forward to the event for months and could hardly wait to get there and meet everyone. She kept telling me that she couldn’t belove we were blood relatives to so many people. Of all of her generation, in her family line, she is the only one left. Her parents had two daughters, and my aunt passed away long ago.

Another interesting thing was how the faces looked like faces I knew as a child. The same nose, eyes, mouth, laugh, hairline, walk, and even the way they stood reminded me of other long gone family. Funny how DNA directs how one looks and moves. Strong blood lines tend to breed true. This one certainly does.

I am thankful I went. It was good to see my cousins, two of the few, from my youth that I actually remember. I am thankful that family is so important to our extended family of cousins that they have this reunion every year. I am thankful that I was able to visit the graves of my great great grandfather and grandmother who started our family lines in Texas and Oklahoma.

Maybe next time, I won’t feel so disconnected and awkward. And, perhaps, I will know more than three people in the room.

That’s How We Roll


The Mr. and I went to our standby comfort food restaurant for dinner. I didn’t want to cook, neither did he, such as he can. Dinner was filling, and if you get the chance, have the yummy pumpkin custard at the Cracker Barrel near you.

We were, as usual, discussing issues in the news and politics while eating dinner. It occurred to me that I am surprised some nitwit leftist hasn’t started opposing the name of the restaurant yet. After all, it is a Southern company, started in Lebanon, Tennessee. And the folks who own it are white. Ergo, it must be owned by white redneck extremists – also known by the derogative term “crackers.”

Therefore, in leftist think, they must be racists, as all Southern whites are by association . Yep, must change the name, I can hear the hue and cry going out amongst those with nothing better to do than take stupid to the farthest degree possible.

Trouble is, that sort of mentality fails here. As we sat there enjoying our meal, only four other tables were full. At one table was another senior couple, farmers from the cut of his clothes and his farmers tan. The Mr. and I represented the Indians in the room. Next to them was a man and a woman, she was black, he was white. Next to them was a table with two men, one black, one white. The server on our side of the room was white, and the server on the other side of the room was black. The cashier was white, but the greeter lady was black, and the cook in the back was white, but the guy busing the tables was black. So, I guess folks of all backgrounds were represented. As it generally is down here in the South.

Now, I don’t live in the southeastern part of the Southern states, I live in the mid-southern/ deep south state of Mississippi, right at the very northern edge of the state next to Memphis, Tennessee. So, maybe it is different here when it comes to blacks and whites than it is in other southern states. I’ve lived here ten years, and I have never had an issue with anyone due to my skin color (which changes from pink to medium brown depending on how much sun I get). As a matter of face, I grew up in the military where segregation ended long before it ended in the rest of the country. I’ve always gone to school with people of different colors, backgrounds, and lifestyles. So pardon me if all I do is shrug when leftists get their knickers in a twist over race issues.

When I look at the demographics for those who are screaming racism, generally it is from folks on the east or west coast, or places like Chicago. Mostly, though, it comes from young people who haven’t a clue what racism is really like. So, why aren’t all the folks in the deep south marching and breaking things? Well, most of them are too busy working and taking care of their families. Except, of course, for those with nothing better to do than make up offenses to have tantrums over. By and large, most of the BLM morons around here are just that, ghetto morons who are uneducated, unemployed, and unhappy because they don’t get everything they want on a platter. Ditto the ANTIFA – yawn – pampered leftist babies of the rich. Regular folks are too busy to waste time with stupidity like that.

Instead of breaking things and marching around trying to rile each other up, they are in church on Wednesday and Sunday, coaching kids in sports, taking kids to lessons or dance, or horse riding. Spending time as a family, often extended family – especially down here in the South, family is a big deal, or they are helping those less fortunate. And maybe, like the Mr. and I, they just like to be at home relaxing at the end of a hectic day.

My point is that I simply cannot fathom having the luxury of time that it takes to be out acting up and breaking things all in the name of faux freak-out issues. Only those with no responsibilities, jobs, school, or future plans have that sort of luxury. Most young people I know are working and going to college, working and raising families, or they are military and working to protect the rights of the whiny leftists rear ends who insult them every chance they get. I don’t live in a racist community, I live in a diverse community of folks with kids, dogs, and lifestyles devoted to bettering themselves and their kids. We have old folks, young folks, teenagers, and babies. We are just people. And that’s how we roll in the mid-south.

Reality Check


My husband and I support two young girls in Uganda, Africa through a charity for orphans and destitute families, by paying for their schooling every year. It isn’t all that much, but it is what we can do for them. You see, they live in such abject poverty that it is amazing they have lived as long as they have. Most do not have parents, they live with elderly grandparents at times, or other relatives or within the orphanage. Fathers leave in droves, because there is no money or food, and many parents are both infected with HIV. Some of the children are born infected as well.

Each day is a struggle for food, water, shelter and the most basics of hygiene and health. Recently a case of measles broke out among the children, most became very ill, and there was nothing to given them to do so much as relieve their fevers. Something as simple as an infection in the eye of one child was spread like wild fire due to lack of clean facilities and medication. The organization we work with, does wonders with the little they have to share with the children. They are even building a school bit by bit as they can afford it for the children.

The reason I am bringing this up, is that despite all the hardship, the children smile, laugh, support each other, and find joy in every day living. Compared to the constant complaining of the leftists in America, they live in a hellish world. But the people constantly looking for a reason to be discontent and worried about their feelings are the people from a world that would be sheer heaven to our girls in Uganda.

Weak, ineffectual, pathetic snowflakes take umbrage because an inanimate object hurts their delicate sensibilities. How luxurious that they can afford the time and effort to indulge in each little idiosyncrasy their tiny minds can imagine. They can go home to a warm, or cool, house, with food, plumbing, showers, electricity, and all the toys they can ever use. And still, they moan and whine about how awful the world is to them.

Meanwhile, our girls struggle to find enough wood to heat the cooking fire, and pray that there is food for them at the end of the day. If fortunate, they get two meals a day. The water they carry home in old gas cans is filthy, but they are grateful to have it to drink and wash in. Our girls get fed at school, as part of the tuition fees, and that is just as important as the schooling, because without nutrition, learning is difficult.

Snowflakes rant and rave about how unjust their lives are, and demand that everyone bow down to their wants. Wants because they have everything they need. Our girls are grateful to be healthy and alive. They know all about what it means to be less important than the family goat. They know what it means to know that they will have no chance to climb out of the poverty/AIDS/ drugs/sex trade cycle that their people have been stuck in for generations. They know unjust means that even though over 10 per cent of all adults are HIV positive, there are no medications to save their lives, and many will die before they have a chance to raise their children. But the snowflakes and whining baby adults of American leftists think they have it hard if someone calls them by the gender that is part of their DNA instead of their preferred daily wish gender.

Our, for want of a better word, foster daughter, Bridgette, struggles so hard to do well in school because it is her only way out of the poverty cycle. She wants to be a nurse to help others in need. She knows she will always be able to provide for herself with an education. She works at it every day. And she is excelling. Even though she still has to help cook, clean, carry water and wood, and study every day, she knows there will be a day when it will get easier for her. Our littlest girl, Milly, is just a baby in the equivalent of Pre-K in the US. She wants to be a teacher some day. She has a delightful, mischievous little smile, and even though she looks tired, underweight, and, at times, lost, she too, knows, at her young age, that she has to work hard to overcome her circumstances. My great granddaughter is only a year or so younger than Milly. Every time I look at Addie Rose succeed at something, I know that it would take our Milly longer, just because of the tough start she had to life, and the daily struggle she has to overcome.

Yet, our baby adults think we need to allow them to vent and break things because they are not getting all the attention they want. They have tantrums and scream about a corrupt government and how evil those who disagree with them are toward their agenda. Really? Bridgette and Molly, and every other child they know don’t have time to sit around and make up excuses to whine. They are too busy trying to, literally, live another day.

Leftists think our government is corrupt and our country is an awful place to live need to trade places with our foster girls for a year. Corruption takes on a whole new definition in their home country. Just getting a package from the post office requires a bribe. Those with any power can take anything the poor have, including their innocence and lives if they wish. Prison is another word for hell, and damnation is spread by disease and poverty.

So, to all those ANTIFA, leftists, BLM, and idiotic people supporting their anti America hatred, go live in Uganda, or any other third world, poverty and crime stricken country for a while. A place that has no freedom, has no rights, and has laws that can strike down anyone who speaks out against those in power. Go live in our foster daughter’s shoes, please. Then come home and tell me how awful America is to you.

Our girls, with God’s blessings, will make it to adulthood and become strong women who will make a difference in their world. And we are blessed that they lovingly call us, Mother Karron and Father Harold. With all the negative in their lives, they can go to sleep at night knowing that thousands of miles away, someone cares and believes in their dreams of a better world.

Feminist or Victimist?


Back in the dark ages of the 1970’s women declared themselves to be feminists by burning their bras, and protesting Viet Nam. They cried, “I am WOMAN, hear me ROAR” while prancing around bare breasted to declare their freedom from oppressive males. Yee Haw, no longer ladies but WOMEN! And a lot of the regular women went along with the hard core man haters as they were bullied and shamed into standing “with the sisterhood.” Personally, I thought the whole thing was silly and embarrassing.

I didn’t need a bunch of females telling me how to be a woman, nor did I need to join a group of man haters and burn my bras to feel free. I didn’t need to have sex with everyone to feel empowered, and I sure as hell was not going to let anyone bully me into being a pathetic follower. I was, and always have been, always will be, a strong, independent minded, fully functional, intelligent, lady. Meaning, I have manners, morals, and a mental altitude geared toward compassion, motherhood, and being a wife and partner to my husband.

However, the hater feminists screamed louder, and the younger set fell for their lies and consummate bullying tactics, and we are now in our third generation of feminist females. I don’t have a clue what women find attractive about that title. More than a few have followed the Gloria group, declaring they deserved to have it all. A partner, kids, and a career that made them feel powerful. That the glass ceiling had to fall, and they would be the generation of women to do it. Yawn… whatever.

What happened is there are generations of kids who were raised in day care instead of their mothers. The women spent their lives torn between career and kids. And if there was time, a moment or two a week with their partner, who still had to work to fulfill the American dream of a home, a car, and two vacations a year. One with and one without the kids. Many longed to stay home, but were pressured by the mantra of the haters to do all and be all – and to be treated just like a man in all ways. Except in a special way. – Politically correct, you know, like they were delicate flowers deep inside.

So, look what we have forty years later. Feminism has turned into Victimism. Women no longer ROAR, they whimper. They no longer burn bras, they think they need to either prance about in a vagina costume, or cover up to support Sharia law. The haters are angry because their plan didn’t work, so they hate men even more, although it is more likely they drove more women away every generation with their vitriol spewing violence. They demand equality, and once they got it, they hated it. Because they weren’t special any longer, but just another cog in the wheel of the working wonks of the world, and that isn’t faaaair…. Be careful what you ask for, it just might bite your right on your ego.

Now, victimism has managed to emasculate every traditional male role, and it has made something as normal as appreciating the beauty of a female body illegal. Feminist flaunted their bodies and told women that it was something they should take pride in showing off. So, women dressed like they were walking sex on display, and now they are whimpering victimists because some guy, or another female, looked at them. Just looked. Well, if you look like a street walker, expect people to see a street walker.

Once, women were treated with respect by benefit of being a female. No longer. We are no longer valued by men as a loving companion, mother, or lover. We are treated just like any other guy, and with less respect than ever. Feminist saw the light in the 1990’s, and decided the way to force their issues was to become victims of Every. Single. Thing. Victimism is the new feminism of the twenty first century. They want fair, but not equal. Fair is not an option in most real life situations. Equal makes them feel demeaned – go figure – and that makes them victimized via being a feminist. Yes, I know, vastly vexing and illogical.

The roaring women of the 1970’s have fallen on hard times. There is no pride in sisterhood, it is every woman out for herself, and the wimpy males that hover in the background are the whipping boys of the future generation of women. Every feminist screamed defiance. Every victimist screams they are demeaned. Listen carefully the next time the likes of Ashley Judd gets in front of a bunch of other females. Hatred, anti male, anti family, anti women who disagree with the agenda, angry, bitter, vitriol spewing victimism all over those who just want to be normal, every day, honest to heaven, women, moms, wives, partners, and most of all happy.

I am not a victim, and I am sure as hell not a feminist. I am a woman, I don’t need to roar, a smile and a chat works wonders to solve issues. Oh, and I quite like men as friends, much more than shrewish victimist females.

I Will NOT Feel Guilty About Christmas Gifts.


I saw a meme on Facebook today that left me speechless, for all of four seconds, then I was totally ticked off. I do NOT like it when people try to manipulate me in any way, and this was exactly what the meme was trying to do.

Basically, it calls people on the carpet for buying nice gifts for their children and labeling them from Santa Claus. Because, after all, some other child might not get anything as nice as a laptop or phone, they may only get gloves and a scarf or something less expensive from the man in red. Therefore, those of us who give our kids something from ‘Santa’ that is more expensive will cause hurt feelings if they share what they got with those less fortunate. In other words, we have to limit what we spend on our kids, or we are guilty of flaunting our wealth, and that makes us evil people.

Quite frankly, that is a load of bull$*(*#!!! If you have kids young enough to believe in Santa, they won’t give a flip how expensive the gift is, because it will be from Santa! That is all that matters. If they are old enough to know the cruel truth of who bought them the gift, then they won’t be upset because it will be from you no matter what name is on the package. Sometimes the logic of the knee jerk emotional response people baffles me. No, the logic of such people always baffles me.

Why would it be my responsibility how your child reacts to what my child receives for Christmas or any other time a gift is offered? I don’t expect you to buy your children’s gifts based on my income or what my child might want. It is utterly ludicrous to suppose that anyone should be involved in gift giving between myself, my children or grandchildren but us.

Everyone knows Christmas comes around every December 25th. Everyone knows that we give gifts to one another in remembrance of the gift we received from God in the Savior, and in the gifts the Magi gave to the Christ child. We know it is coming all year long. I do not understand why everyone waits until the last possible minute to recognize the expense, whether in dollars or time and effort, that will be added to the budget. So let me explain how we do things.

In January, I take my empty Christmas money jar, and start putting back as much as I can from my budget. Some months it is more, some less. I have a goal of one hundred dollars per child or grandchild, a bit less for the babies as they are happy with wrapping paper and boxes until about the age if two. I also factor in things like baking goods, baskets, and wrapping paper to the fund. As I save each month, I start a file from each kid or grandchild about the things that they are interested or would like to have. It gives me a bare bones budget from which to work.

Around the end of October, I start shopping in earnest. I look for sales, coupons, two for one sales, any way to save money and still buy them what they want. It doesn’t matter if it comes from Santa or me, each gift is carefully chosen and paid for with CASH. No debt here, thank you very much. By Christmas, I have spent my savings, prepared goodie baskets for my friends and neighbors, wrapped all the gifts, and have everything set for a family dinner.

Even on a limited income, this can work as long as you are diligent about saving and keeping the funds for Christmas. The trick is to be determined not to waste the funds on other things. If it is in the Christmas jar, nothing short of a life and death situation will get it out of the jar before Christmas. My point is, that anyone can give their children nice things, if they want to work hard enough for it.

Sure I will go without other things, and maybe I won’t have that extra whatever I wanted, but at the end of the day, did I really need it? How many pairs of shoes, or handbags, or goodies does one need to be healthy? Not too many. I would rather see my granddaughter’s face light up with joy at her “Santa” present, or have a heart felt hug from my son for the item he has wanted for a long time, but didn’t want to spend money on with a family to feed.

So, back to the meme, get over it people. No one is responsible for your family but you. My family comes first, and what I have left over, I share willingly and for as far as I can stretch it. Maybe it will only be a basket of Christmas cookies and muffins, but it is given with love and appreciation to my friends and family.

Don’t try to manipulate or guilt people into shame for doing well, working hard, and giving generously, be it from “Santa” or from Nana and Papa. It makes you look inept, immature, and impractical. It used to be people stood up for themselves, they didn’t expect everyone else to feel sorry for them and make life easy. Be honest with your children. They aren’t stupid, they know if you are wealthy or if you are barely making it. So, work hard, save hard, give with love, and teach your children to do the same.

How Did I Get So Old So Darned Fast?


Today I turned 62 years old. I think that qualifies me as older than dirt. I know it qualifies me as a senior citizen. What I want to know is how it happened so darned fast. Just a few weeks ago, I swear I was trying to figure out the whole concept of being an adult.

When I turned nine, I remember it well, because my parents gave me a copy of Huckleberry Finn. The first real book I remember ever getting. I still have it. And I took time to re-read it not too long ago. When I turned 17, I was a married woman of a whole three months. I remember thinking I had it all, and knew it all, and wasn’t afraid to face everything life would throw at me. I was a grown woman, and by heaven I knew it all. Arrogance knows no bounds to a 17 year old.

When I turned 20, I had a three month old son, he was taking me down a peg or two in arrogance, and teaching me that being a grown woman was harder than it looked. Being a mother certainly was harder. Little did I know that by the time I turned 22, I would have a second baby boy and life was set on fast forward for the next twenty years or so.

I don’t remember many spectacular birthdays. They seem to blend together. However, I remember when I turned 30, my two best friends kidnapped me, drove me all over Harrison, Arkansas for a few hours, then took me out to eat at a steak place. When I walked in, almost the entire church ward, most of my Boy Scout Leader friends, and many others turned up for a surprise party. I was totally shocked. Not a clue slipped out from anyone. Back then, there were no cell phones, so no one was able to tip me about the kidnapping or anything. It was great! I was fully embarrassed, but it was the slickest thing anyone has ever pulled on me. Candy, and Edie Mae , I have not forgotten, and I will get even one day.

The best gifts my husband gave to me are: The Elton John Concert in Hong Kong, The Michael Buble concert in Memphis, and my beautiful blue Honda Del Sol sports car, I call Posh. Treasured memories, and one of the most fun toys I have EVER had.

Once our boys moved out and on with their lives, and we got custody of Crystal, we decided to move to Europe, and then around the world, using employment opportunities to set off on our next adventure. When it was time to move on to the next new home, it was always on my birthday. We were either moving into a place, or packing to move out of a place – or in accommodations between places. Since it was either a sad time, or an exciting time, there was never time to pay much attention to celebration. One exception, however, was when we were living in Hong Kong. The other moms with children Crystal’s age who attended the same international school as Crystal took me to lunch. It was a fabulous time, and each gift is still something I use today, or wear today. They are part of my treasure horde. Of course, tea in the plaza after school every day was special too. Sigh, I miss you all.

I guess I was busy having a life, and simply didn’t notice time sneaking past at such a rapid rate. Technology has overtaken the simple pleasures, and I miss that. I miss being the mom of growing boys (before teenage hell set in). I miss the summers at the swimming hole with Edie Mae and her girls, and Candy and her boys along with me and my kids. I miss the Plaza with the ladies there and their kids, I miss the women in London and Nottingham, and I miss the dear friends in New Zealand, especially Leah who was more than willing to give me a kick in the attitude when I needed one most. I miss being young and strong physically even if I am old and stronger emotionally and have more wisdom.

The older I get, the less it matters if we celebrate my birthday or not. It is a day I do a lot of reflection on my life. Since it is so close to Christmas, and the anniversary of my baptismal date this month, there always seems to be more important things to focus on. Especially, for me, spiritual matters.

But I still don’t understand how I got from 22 to 62 so darned fast! The upside, is now I have grandchildren, and great grandchildren to love and spoil. I have a husband of 45 years, who has grown up and old with me. And who can still carry on a conversation and debate over all sorts of interesting topics with me, Who still, after all this time, wants to have adventures with me. So, I guess the real trade off of getting old, is that I have had a great life, get to do so much more, and know that life is still full of adventures.

Come Christmas Time


I am one of the odd ducks that happens to be fully ambidextrous and, according to all the tests I took in college, I have a brain that is exactly balanced between the right and left sides of the brain. What this means, actually, is I spend more time figuring out which hand to use to do what task, and I argue with myself on almost every single issue.

Emotions in public embarrass me, so that makes logic a good choice, except emotional people think I am cold and unfeeling because I give a logical response. If others get emotional, with good reason, I have empathy for them, but I probably won’t join them in a crying jag, hysteria, or temper tantrum. On the other hand, or side, I get hurt and angry, and I am capable of having a tantrum, I just usually turn to sarcasm, facts, and downright snobby rhetoric to let others know how upset I am.

The biggest battle I face with myself, is admitting that I am such a softie when it comes to anything to do with children, my family, my country, my religion. I can be brought to tears just hearing the National Anthem, and nothing gets to me like seeing a flag flying against the sky. Only years of self control has kept me from breaking out singing God Bless America at a flag raising. See, Embarrassing.

I love my family. I have the most wonderful children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and all the steps and add on family that comes with them. I have a husband of 45 years who has grown old with me that I love in more ways than I can say. I am deeply proud of all of them, even the one that has gone on before us brings me pride and joy. I admit, blushing, that when I see them do something that brings them joy, I have to fight tearing up. After all, they don’t want to see an old, weepy lady sobbing all over them. So I have learned to suck up the tears and smile with pride, and enjoy their achievements. Holding a grandchild for the first time is magical, sacred, and fulfilling in a way only a parent can understand. It is a continuation of all that we are. But, I never cry, nor do I laugh out loud, the logic side keeps me under control enough to be excited, but calm. None of that means I don’t feel emotion, I am just more comfortable with keeping it close and personal.

Music brings me to deep emotions, especially music that speaks to my religious being. My country and all that it was founded on is as much a part of me as my name. That patriotic belief comes from my ancestors who both founded the United States, and those that were here to meet the ships as they came in.

So, as I sit here with my fifty-fifty brain, we are once again embarking on Christmas and all it means to me. I secretly LOVE Christmas. I start planning gifts and decorations in mid-summer, and can hardly wait until Thanksgiving is over to begin my Christmas plans. I love the bright lights, glittery decorations, brightly wrapped packages, Christmas trees, baking, and all that goes into it the family traditions that our melded family celebrates. It makes me HAPPY!

On the emotional side, I love the deeply religious meaning of this time of year. The sacred music, the beautiful story of the birth of Christ, the amazing story of Mary, mother of the Savior, and the abiding love of Joseph for both of them makes me feel filled with love and understanding for all other mothers and fathers. Though our struggles may be different, we, as parents, have same love for our children.

This is the one time of the year I tell my logical side to zip it and take a holiday. Oh, I allow it control when it comes to things like planning how much I need of what to get things done, and I allow it free reign with finding the best deals for gifts, but otherwise, it stays out of things. This is the time of year I can cry, laugh, and rejoice without feeling embarrassed, or out of control.

Yep, being one of those few that struggle with an ambidextrous brain and body, is not easy. But come Christmas time, only one side is in control. God Bless You One and All, may your dreams come true, and may you rejoice in all the love of Christmas and all it means.