Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Diana

Where do the years go? Only yesterday it seems, I went to St. Francis Hospital barely in labor but very pregnant. At that time, we didn't have ultrasounds so I had no idea if I were pregnant with a girl or a boy. I just knew I was very pregnant with a baby that had been due on June 16 and that I was still carrying around on June 27. I had felt bad all day but around midnight, I felt like we should go on to the hospital to be checked out. Pretty soon after I arrived at the hospital, I was given an injection that knocked me "out like a light." I obviously went right out and was in labor but knew nothing of it. Diana was born at around 4:30 a.m. after a relatively short time in labor. At 9:30 a.m. the next morning (June 28, 1967) I awakened to the sound of someone cleaning my room. I opened my eyes at the same time I reached down with my hands to feel my tummy. I looked at the custodian and said, "have I had my baby and was it a boy or a girl?" She said, "I don't know but I"ll go find out." She came back in shortly and told me that the nurse would be bringing my baby to me in a few minutes. Around 9:45 a.m. on June 28, 2008, I met the love of my life. I'd never before had a feeling like I had when I first saw my first child. She was beautiful; she was screaming; she was mine. What a feeling of love and wonder when I first saw her.

Diana couldn't take warm milk...always took a bottle right out of the fridge. She never drank formula...always drank whole milk. She didn't have hair until she was 2 years old and when it did come in it was so white blonde that you still couldn't tell she had hair on her bald head. She loved her passy...gave it up when she threw it out the car window to a "big truck" the day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and never took one again. She loved going to the golf course with her daddy and being pulled around the course in her red wagon while Don played 9 holes. She loved swinging and playing in the sand box. She loved her friends, Anne Marie and Christine, Happy and Sherwood, and Chet and Leigh Ann. She loved swimming and learned to swim by the time she turned 3 years old.

It thrills me to look at her now, the wife and mother she has become and I hope it's not too prideful to say I am proud of her. She loves her husband and is so supportive of him in his ministry. She loves her children as is evidenced by the fact that she's ALWAYS sitting on the 3rd baseline cheering them on. It is such a joy to see the woman she has become. I am so proud of you, Diana...proud to have you as a daughter. May God continue to bless you as a wife of a pastor and as a mother of Krissy and Drew. I don't know anybody who could do it better. I love you and hope you have a great birthday weekend.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Where I'm From

Where I'm From
by George Ella Lyons
I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the black porch.
(Black, glistening it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush,
the Dutch elmwhose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.
I'm from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I'm from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from perk up and pipe down.
I'm from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.
I'm from Artemus and Billie's Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.
Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments-snapped
before I budded-leaf-fall from the family tree.

George Ella Lyons wrote the poem above called, "Where I’m From.” I read it and it made me start thinking about what I would write if I wrote something similar. Now, for sure, I’m no poet; Kristy would have to write it for it to be true poetry. But I do know ‘where I’m from’ and I think I can put it down on paper (computer) and make some sense of it. It’s fun…write you own.

Where I’m From
By Martha Vaughan

I am from Ebenezer community on Highway 276,
By the outhouse and catching my pants on fire in the burning grass.
I am from a butcher knife fanning the air
and being caught in Daddy's hand; thus, a crooked finger for life.
I'm from wringer washers, clothes flapping in the wind,
kerosene stoves, homemade with love quilts and days of no tv.
I am from sandy driveways in the Shiloh community
and bare feet and Mr. Foster’s country store
where we’d buy Pepsi’s, brown mules, and moon pies,
all put on our poor old mama’s “account”
while she was a slave to a sewing machine in a sewing hall.
I’m from black salve, castor oil, Creomulsion, Vicks Vaporub, asafetida and kerosene.
I'm from granuloma knots, blood that "looked like orange kool-aid" and being so skinny that Mama often said, "I'll never raise her."
I am from beagle rabbit hunting dogs
and rabbits as pets that became food on the table.
I am from poison oak so bad that Dr. Coleman
had to give me a shot everyday for two weeks;
I couldn’t go to school so I stayed with Granny while Mama worked
and got to watch "The Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns" and drink coffee!
I’m from carrying water when the well went dry;
and from watching Grandma wash clothes
in a black iron pot over a fire in the backyard.
I'm from riding my bicycle across the yard, not seeing
the clothes line and being "clothes-lined" in the neck.
I’m from trying to burn fiberglas in Grandma’s backyard
that wouldn’t burn because it really IS glass.
I’m from having a dog named Tippy that was deliberately run over
and killed by Larry Ledfort. (name changed to protect the guilty)
I’m from borrowing Grace Cox’s sewing machine, dropping and breaking it and how it hurt me as much to see her cry as it did to see the crack in the machine!
I hail from days spent barefoot, gathering clay from Mr. Burns creek bed with Tony
and then forming it into our “dishes” set out in the sun to dry.
I'm from skating on the concrete screened-in porch, falling
and cracking my tail-bone which hurts to this day as a reminder of "good times."
I’m from Slater-Marietta Elementary School and the teachers, Mrs. McKinney, Mrs. Kerns, Mrs. Cleveland and others who loved me as their own.
I’m from the Bible Society lady who came to school
and gave us a Bible if we’d memorized enough verses.
I’m from pulling Jane Forrest out of bus-line, telling her it was “against the law”
to get back in line, all so she would come home with me from school. She believed me and she did!
I’m from all the days spent waiting up, watching, talking and praying with Mama.
I’m from times spent on our bed with Mama’s prayers rising to heaven on our behalf.
I’m from fireflies, butterflies and honeybees in their hives in our own backyard.
I’m from best friend, Dona, two doors down
and another best friend, Pat, across the street,
who were like ‘other sisters’ when we were growing up.
I’m from a Christian mother who instilled in me
her love of God and made me grow-up to want to be like her.
I’m from getting married at 17 years old and working to help Don finish Clemson.
I’m from Slater-Marietta, Travelers Rest, Clemson, Lake City, Gastonia, Statesville, Elizabethton, Greenville…finally full-circle back to my roots and home.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Gave Myself a Makeover

Nope, I didn't get a facelift, liposuction or tummy tuck...but my blog got a makeover.

I'm the type person that if I know something CAN be done, I want to figure out how to do it. I frequently read a blog that was given a free makeover. Some of these blog makeovers by professionals cost around $100. As I looked at the new look for this blog, I thought...hmmmm, I'd love to learn to do that. are viewing my humble efforts. It's probably not as good as I'd like it to be nor as good as it could be nor as good as it's gonna be; however, it's as good as it's gonna get today. It's a start; a beginning. And I'll continue to tweek it until it's as good as I want it to be. It was fun; it's always fun for me to learn new computer programs and things my computer will do to make my life easier/better/prettier :). That's why I always jump at the chance to take a computer software class when FU offers one. That and the fact that I can take them free make it doubly good.

Let me know what you think about the new look. If you do like it or if there's anything that would be better/easier to read, etc. I'll keep on tweeking until it's as good as it gets.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Getting a Jump on Kathy

I never blog twice in one day but today I feel as if I must...I have to get a jump on Kathy because if I don't 'fess up, I know she'll do it for me.

This morning after Tim left to go to work, I heard a cell phone ringing but it wasn't mine. I looked around and found Tim's phone ringing on the island in the kitchen. I answered it and it was Tim telling me he knew he'd left his phone at home and for me to take it to Furman with me and if he had time, he'd come to Furman to pick it up. I put it in my purse and forgot about it.

Later in the morning I remembered it was there and as I started out of the office to the bathroom, I decided I would call Tim to see if he were actually going to make it to pick up his phone. As I reached the office door, I heard a phone ringing and asked Lonita if it were hers. She said no...I hung up my cell and went back to answer Tim's just as it "beeped" with a missed call. I decided I would check to see who the missed call was from and lo and behold, IT WAS FROM ME. I got so tickled, I thought I would wet my pants before I got down to the bathroom. I've laughed at myself all day. "Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves; they will never cease to be amused." Today I am blessed beyond measure.

I do have lots of stories I can tell on Kathy but I'm glad I thought about getting the jump on her this time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Digging in the Dirt

I absolutely love digging in dirt. There is nothing more satisfying and therapeutic to me than planting and watching flowers grow. I love the smell of dirt and especially on a hot summer afternoon as the sprinkles of rain begin. What smells better?

I think I inherited my love of flowers from my mom. I don't remember her ever planting or growing flowers (except roses) when we were growing up but she loved flowers. After she sold her home and moved to the senior apartment complex, each spring I would dig in her dirt and plant some flowers in the beds outside the sliding glass door of her apartment. From where she sat in her lift chair, she looked right out that door and to her flower bed. Some days she called me at work to tell me how pretty it was that day. That was one of those things that she wanted to "pay" me for doing and one of those things that I had to say, "just say thanks." Her love of the flowers was all the "pay" I needed.

Since mom died 4 years ago, I've had only my flower bed to plant and I miss having two...but most of all I miss her and her love of the beauty of the petunias, mandevilla, and begonias that we chose for her flower bed. I like to continue to "dig in the dirt" because I love the feel of it as it runs through my fingers but most of all as a reminder of her and her love of the flowers.

For those of you who know my sister, Kathy, she has always loved to dig in dirt too...ask her about "digging" when she was a child. Maybe she'll post that on her blog sometime :).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

You Know it's Hot When Your Eyeballs Sweat

For the past 3 weeks, we haven't had any air conditioning at work. To top that off, we don't have windows in our office. The first week wasn't so bad...high temps outside of about 73 degrees made for pleasant days. Over the course of three weeks though, the temp has gradually risen to a high today expected to be around 95 degrees. It is miserable...I am miserable. I am sweating in places I didn't know I had places and certainly in places I can't reach :). Have your eyeballs/eyelids ever sweated? Yesterday mine did! I have a fan blowing on me but it is doing nothing but blowing hot air...much like most of the people in my office.

Lonita and I just walked across the yard to the portable office space we will be moving to in August. It is wonderful. We will all have our own office space. Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!! AND it is ice cold in there. I can't wait! I'm ready to move now. We'll be out of the dust of construction; out of the heat; into an area where we have enough toilets!!! (that's another story). We're ready and sitting on go when FU says it's time to move. We'll have everything packed and it won't take us two seconds to be out of here and into the wonderful portable. AND then they will construct wonderful new space for us over in the PAC. YEA! August can't get here fast enough!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Life-lessons Learned from Abbie

About 20 months ago, Maggie and Abbie came to to live with us; I had always said that I would NEVER have a dog in my house but when it became a "case of have-to," I bit the bullet and gave in. Never would I have thought that a 4# fur ball would give Tim and I so much joy. She loves us unconditionally and when she looks at us with those big brown eyes, you just have to give in to whatever it is she wants. She is a joy to have and yes, she lives IN MY HOUSE! I saw this list the other day and via my photos of the last 20 months knew that I had truly learned some lessons from Abbie.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp and play daily. This photo was taken after a particularly "vigorous" swim and we thought she was gonna have a seizure. She got out of the pool, flopped over on her side and shook like a leaf.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not, however if you are The Princess, it's ok to wear the crown.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout .. run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joys of a long walk.

(from The Story Bin...Lists to Live By @