MOTHER’S DAY

When this photo was taken in June, 1979, I remember how I felt.  I was on top of the world because I had graduated high school (which was an answer to prayer – trust me).  I was working my first job on campus at WSU and had so many big dreams.  Now, looking back at this photo, I don’t feel the same way.  The things that seemed so very important to me in 1979 no longer mean much.

Today I’m thankful for these memories.  I’m so thankful to have this photo and that the Kansas wind wasn’t making a mess of my hair.  LOL!  How precious little things become when we can no longer make new memories.  This picture reminds me of where I came from and what really matters in life.  This was a Sunday mornin’ in June…  and where were we headin’???  Surprise surprise…  we were headin’ for church.

I was raised a hard-nosed Southern Baptist – if the church doors were unlocked, we were there.  We had Sunday School, Church, dinner on the grounds, choir practice and Training Union.  My mama was in WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) and my daddy did a lot of carpentry around the church.  One time he made a whole set of little people furniture for the Primary classroom.  He didn’t talk much, but actions speak louder than words.

What do mothers do for us?  Well, when we’re very small – they do everything for us.  I was thankful for a few things my mom taught me – there were many things, of course, but some just come to mind quicker than others.

I am ever so grateful to my mother for showing me which utensil to use at a formal dinner – and the whole napkin in the lap thing.  Why?  As it happens, I was invited to a very fancy formal dinner given by the President of WSU.  There were courses…  so many courses.  I felt as though we were being timed as we ate – because guess what?  If we were not quite finished…  our plates were taken from us!  The purpose of a dinner like that is not to eat but to socialize.

When we’re learning things from mom, it’s a natural reaction to roll eyes or wonder why we will ever need to know certain rules of society.  I’ll tell you a secret…  moms know why they are showing you this stuff.  I wish now I had not rolled my eyes so much or had teenage attitude with my mom.

My mother was a beacon – a light.  She gave me everything I needed to do what I had to do in life.  God of course guided her to teach me, and she was obedient and was the mom she needed to be.  I’m so thankful.

I want to share a Scripture with you that means so much to me.

Mothers are teachers and examples for their children.  This Scripture reminds us that we are all to be a light.  Whether we are parents or brothers or sisters – or just friends…  we have influence on others wherever we go.

Let God’s light shine through you today.  Happy Mother’s Day – to mothers everywhere.  🙂

 

 

 

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IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRIST-MAS

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  – Isaiah 9:6

When I was a kid, this popular Christmas song played on my parent’s Montgomery Ward record player – yes – the record player / television / radio unit that sat in every American living room back in the early 1960’s.  You know the one I mean…  don’t sit there and act like you don’t remember.  😉curtismathes02And, of course the star singer at Christmas time back in the day was PERRY COMO!  My folks had every Como Christmas album that came out, I think.51t6kcvval-_ss500

untitled-21619zyozrzdllargeperry_como-christmasIf I had to choose a favorite Como Christmas song, it would be “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.”  Let’s take a listen:

I know it’s not a terribly meaningful song in a religious sense…  or wait – maybe it is.  Take a look at this poem by Lucinda Berry Hill – it fits the same tune perfectly.  🙂

christmas-is-jesusSo you see, whether you are listening to Third Day, Casting Crowns, Mark Lowry – or Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Andy Williams…  you always remember that Christmas is never Christmas without Christ.  No matter how the world tries to take Him out of the celebration, they can’t – His wonderful name IS CHRIST – and that’s the beginning of Christmas!

Without Him there are no Christmas miracles – just artificial holiday cheer.  I’d rather expect miracles than see a bunch of people who pretend to be cheerful from alcohol or some other resource at hand.  When I see X-mas it just makes me so sad because some folks are literally X-ing away the real reason for the season.  I don’t understand it.  I never will.jesus-candy-cane-prayer

This year when I listen to Como, I’m going to sing Lucinda’s lyrics because I like them much more than the original song’s lyrics!  Let’s celebrate the birth of our Lord this year.  That’s what it’s all about!  Christmas is JESUS!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)Good people do live in my midst!  We’re getting ready for a garage sale later this month and spent a day preparing the garage for the tables, racks, etc.  The worst thing that can happen at a garage sale is when someone wants to buy something that you are not selling.  The solution is to cover everything that you want to keep with a tarp.

We were working in the garage when along comes our neighbor.  He’s a very pleasant man, friendly and hard-working.  He owns a farm just outside Wichita as well as a home in our little community.  He asked if our riding lawn mower was for sale.  My husband told him it was.  They worked out the details and our big -ticket item was sold.

Seems cut and dried, doesn’t it?  We get money and he gets the rider to use out on his farm.

The story’s not finished.  Here’s the cool part.

Yesterday was the open air market at our extension office.  Most of the vendors have stopped coming because summer is over.  We stopped to look around a bit, not expecting to find much.  There was our neighbor with the last of his vegetable crop – and it looked delicious, I must say.

Without saying a word, he bagged up most of what he had left and handed it to us.

He has absolutely NO idea what he did.  We have vegetables to put in our freezer for winter.  Our freezer was empty – now it’s full.  I think I know what the squirrels must feel like – collecting and filling their little homes with food for the winter months.

He told us it was a bonus payment on the mower.  We laughed.  I wanted to cry tears of joy.

But here’s the thing…  my dad had a garden every year and grew all the vegetables our neighbor does.  We’ve been buying vegetables at the market – but let’s face it, they just are not homegrown.  They don’t taste the same.

I’m sitting here now eating fried okra, crying tears of happiness.  It’s like a taste of home, to be honest.  This small gesture touched my heart and took me back home for just a little while.

This journey called life is filled with a little pain and a little sorrow, but once in a while, a neighbor does something that renews your faith in humans.  I could never thank him enough for that – not without crying, anyway.  It’s more than okra – it’s closing my eyes and going back to a late summer / early fall meal with my parents.  How do you thank someone for that?it-is-more-than-just-okra

I know it’s just a simple little story, but isn’t our life here on the planet about paying it forward?  It’s about sharing your bounty with those who are not farmers or gardeners.  Our neighbor would certainly have not had to do that.

I thank him not only for the food, but also for the wonderful memories that food sparked in me.  And as always, I’m so very grateful to God for making it all happen!  🙂

NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS DAY

8-21 NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS DAY

The older I get, the younger everyone else looks!  – Linda Palmer

 

TOO OLDBODIES NEW AND STRONG

When my mother turned 65, she started getting all that “fun” mail…  you know, all the “old people” mail.  She was visibly angered and depressed about it.  As her only child, I knew I had my work cut out for me to make her 65th birthday a happy one.  She was a valentine baby – her birthday was February 15th, but we always celebrated with lots of hearts and roses.  The normal routine was for me to bake her a heart-shaped cake with number candles on top.  I had to do something extra special for her 65th…  I had no idea what that would be, but I had to nail it.  And this year I didn’t think she’d like having the numbers 6 and 5 staring at her from a heart-shaped cake.

Mama loved girly things like hairstyles and makeovers and spa stuff.  Our Towne West mall was only 7 years old in 1987.  It was fun and hopping and there were all sorts of girly stores at the time.  I wanted her to be pampered, but on my budget I couldn’t afford very much.  I went in to Dillard’s to talk to a sweet lady in the cosmetic department.

Lisa was not a young person but not old either.  She listened to my story about how mom was celebrating a milestone and she had received all this mail that made her feel like it was time to go out to pasture.  She understood exactly what I was talking about and we plotted and planned such a great makeover for her!  Lisa and I talked for TWO hours!  She didn’t seem to be concerned that she’d lost some sales in that time.  I was so impressed with her.  This was one birthday that I knew my mama was going to enjoy.

There’s something you should know about me…  I never get away with surprising anybody – EVER!  I am the worst surprise party giver that ever lived.  I was so afraid that somehow my mom was going to find out about her surprise makeover.  I swore my family to secret – all two of them – but they were both men, so…  my husband and my dad.  My bases were covered…  and I was so anxious for the Saturday before her birthday to roll around.

Saturday rolled around.  There was not any significant snowfall, for which I was thankful.  My boss said we didn’t have to work, for which I was even more thankful.  Everything was working out great!  I called mom just to make sure she was getting ready to go.  She said, “Oh, I’m not sure I feel up to it today.  Can we go out next week?”

NO NO NO – we can’t!!!  I didn’t say it, but I sure thought it.  OK, compose yourself and don’t appear too eager.  “Well, you know I’ve worked most Saturdays lately and I didn’t have to work today, so I may not get another opportunity to get out on a Saturday again for a while.”

There was a pause in the conversation that seemed to last forever.  I waited for a response…  wait for it…  wait for it…

“Oh, okay.  I’ll be ready when you get here.”

YES – SCORE!

I got off the phone, grabbed my purse, dug out my keys and headed out the door.  As I got in the car, I saw the first snowflake.  I thought, “OK, we can get this done quick and get back before it gets too bad.”

When I got to mom’s, she was not quite dressed.  From the looks of things, she had tried on about 4 different outfits.  I looked at my watch and looked out the window…  it was getting late and the snow was falling.  It’s my mom…  it’s her day…  and she needs to feel pretty.  She was always pretty.  The only one who never knew it was her – even though I told her every day.

I gave her my honest opinions about what looked best and she got dressed.  She put on her coat and we cautiously walked to the car.  The snow was still just drifting around and didn’t look like it was going to be too bad.  Yay – we were on our way to the mall.  I was so excited.

Once in the car, mom said, “Are you sure you want to go to the mall today?  It looks like it’s going to snow like this for a while.”  I assured her that it will be fine – just fine.  I was determined that this was going to happen for her.  She was the best mom in the world and deserved the best birthday.

We made it to the mall and I parked as close as I could to Dillard’s.  Surprisingly, mom didn’t ask what we were doing at that particular store, but I had a story all ready.  I used it anyway because it took me so long to come up with it – :-/  “I just need to quick grab a new mascara here at Dillard’s and they’re the only ones who have what I like.”  See – isn’t that a great excuse???  I thought so.  Actually, the only make-up I buy is from Walmart and there is no counter.  I can’t afford make-up from behind a counter.

We slowly walked to the door.  The snow was starting to stick a little more now, but I wasn’t overly concerned.  My mind was on mom’s surprise birthday present.

When I saw Lisa, she got the biggest smile on her face!  “Hello, Mrs. Turner!”  You should have seen the look on mama’s face.  She couldn’t figure out why this lady knew her name!  It was funny and one of the best memories tucked in my mind.  Lisa and I started laughing and explained what was going on to my poor mother.

I knew at that moment that it was worthwhile…  the time, the effort, the planning.  I think it was the best time and mom felt so special and pampered.  I bought a few of her favorite products and she bought a few.  We laughed and chatted and we were just girls being girls – of all ages.  I think for a little while, mama forgot she was 65, she forgot about the mail, the stigma, the meaning behind being that particular age.

I’m not good at surprise parties as a general rule.  I try to make birthdays special and sometimes I think surprises are fun – but on my mom’s 65th birthday…  I NAILED IT!

When she was all prettied up, we waded back out to the car.  The snow had stopped falling and it wasn’t freezing, so we pulled into Spear’s restaurant across the street to get a cup of coffee.  I mentioned that it was my mother’s birthday, and the waitress gave us a free piece of pumpkin bread, which tastes more like cake.  It was our family’s favorite treat year around, not just in the autumn months.

I wish I could have taken a photo.  We didn’t have digital cameras back then.  I didn’t make a habit of carrying my Polaroid camera around with me.  My mother was beautiful – and more importantly, she felt beautiful and that made me very happy!

If you know a senior citizen, give them a call or visit them and let them know how much they mean to you.  They just want to know they are still important to someone.  Happy National Senior Citizens Day!  🙂

 

 

WE LOVE ELVIS

TL 5-25 WE LOVE ELVISIMG_0024

I got a photo taken in Branson on August 22, 2004 with an Elvis impersonator – it was snapped after the show, so he was not exactly spring fresh – but we get photo ops when we can.  I’ll bet he never went to a gym – doing those shows is a workout in itself.  You know what’s in my scrapbook along with this photo?  One of his scarves – or whatever you call those sweat catchers…  eeeewww.  Funny story though – I was so short there’s no way I could have caught one before all those tall girls – so my sweet hubby jumped up and got it for me – then handed it over.  Teamwork – yep!

Who thinks that real life is just overwhelming right now?  I’m raising my hand!  Seriously, there have been NO positives in the news and even though someone is running around saying America will be GREAT again, well…  never mind.  I’ll tell ya what, I’ll believe it when I see it – let’s put it that way.

So when real life gets to be too much, what do we need to do?  That’s right – we need to have fun and laugh.  And guess what I have today?  Yep – my friend John Coyote made a YouTube video – another Elvis tribute – but I gotta tell ya – this one is a hoot!  But John’s voice does have an Elvis-like quality – but the dramatics along with it are too funny!

And honestly, I didn’t even know Elvis recorded this song – I think the first time I heard The First Time (lol – that was confusing) – was when it was sung by Roberta Flack.  I had the 45 record of it, so of course that’s the one I’m most familiar with.  Of course, John would know for sure because I think he’s older than me (LOL) – yeah – he’s probably not – I’m just a music illiterate.  Don’t hit me, John! 

I think John should be an Elvis impersonator, don’t you?  They get paid pretty good, I think – and he’s certainly got the talent and that ham bone quality…  yep – I think he needs to consider a possible career move.  I don’t know if they’re hiring in Branson, but he surely should check it out.  🙂

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL CLOTHESLINE WEEK

TL 6-4 thru 11 INTERNATIONAL CLOTHESLINE WEEK

http://www.hangtodry.com/

Get on board!  It’s time to save energy and hang your clothes on a clothesline!  Some housing developments with a “no clothesline” clause in the covenant are making allowances for this week only.  Check with your local HOA to see if yours is one of them.  If you can’t string up an outdoor line, you can still use a fold-up rack  http://www.wayfair.com/Drying-Racks-C434826.html or put a short line up inside your laundry room.

My mom always hung clothing and bedding out on the clothesline to dry.  It just made sense because let’s face it, in Kansas there is wind – and plenty of it!  The worst thing that can happen is you end up with bird poop on something – but it doesn’t happen that often.  It’s really bad if the bird has snacked on mulberries.  They grew wild in the empty lot across the street…  yeah.HANGING SHEETS ON THE LINE

Of course, the winds of June will not be as strong as the winds of March, but they will certainly dry those clothes and sheets.  I have the most fond memories of my mother hanging the wash out to dry.  I’ve read other women’s writings about those precious days with their mothers, but my memory includes something that nobody else’s does…  I remember my mom getting her basket of damp clothing about halfway out to the clothesline – and then she would always SNEEZE!   I teased her to no end about it!

I used to make my mom’s clothes pin holder – the bag that hung on the line.  I made them out of my old denim jeans – that were cut into shorts – well, what do you do with the leg part that’s left over?

There are several benefits to line drying your clothes – obviously one is cost.  The electric dryer costs money to run, and the sun and wind is free.  The sun also whitens whites and will disinfect bedding naturally.  It’s great exercise – you have to load your basket with the damp clothes, carry it to the line and bend and stretch as you pin the clothes to the line.  Then you reverse the process when you take things down.  Add in the folding and putting away, and that’s a day’s work!

Your duds will last longer.  When was the last time you cleaned out a dryer vent?  I notice especially with towels and fleece clothing – it’s pretty full after the dry cycle is finished.  Clothing and especially bedding will smell so much fresher after drying on the line.  Line drying also reduces wrinkles – mama used to “snap” things before hanging them – that was to snap the wrinkles out!  Was mom smart, or what?

There are no dryer sheets needed, but line drying actually eliminates static cling because there’s no electricity to cause static cling to begin with.  The times I helped my mom hang laundry are some of the most peaceful and simple times I remember in my childhood.  We had a good time talking and laughing together in the sunshine – I especially liked to tease her about that sneezing…  yeah.

A serious benefit of using a clothesline instead of a dryer is the risk of fire!  Did you know that clothes dryer fires make up over 15,000 structure fires, 15 deaths and 400 injuries each year?  The annual cost in the U.S. for fire loss due to clothes dryer fires is estimated at a whopping $99 million!

It’s really worth considering a more natural way of drying clothes and bedding, isn’t it?  I hope one day soon, the HOA’s across the country will reconsider the “no clothesline” clause in housing developments.  Sometimes ecology and safety need to come before esthetics.  Jus’ sayin…  🙂

 

PETITE AND PROUD DAY

TL 5-4 PETITE & PROUD DAY

At 5’2″ and 1/4…  I think I qualify as PETITE!  When people ask me how tall I am, I emphasize that I am 5’2 PLUS 1/4″ because let’s face it, I need every bit of height I can get!  In the 1970’s I took advantage of wedge-style shoes – you know, the ones with stacked soles that make you feel like a giant without making your feet feel too bad?  And back then they were natural colored leather – ah, I loved those.  We carried the natural leather bags that matched – it was like we were flower children, embracing all things natural.

I wanted to be just like Farrah…  but as the years went by, I learned to love and appreciate Linda.  Did you know the minimum height to do modeling in the 1970’s was 5’7″???  I’m not sure why I remember that, other than I remember thinking, “Well, there went that career opportunity down the tubes!” 

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c326bcc021860d109c3244451a1201dc087512b826f55a61d5563e1cacbaa1afI had a pair that look like “C” – with the flower cutout design.  d6f55abc12a29f0918041a5ec2cdc8d1

Let’s face it…  a person with short legs has a very difficult time wearing bell-bottom jeans!  There’s just not enough length there to begin with!  Women with legs that never end can wear anything…  but for a short gal, I think I nailed it. But… I so wanted to look like Farrah…  I loved her name, her hair, the fact that she had legs…  and who didn’t???  She was beautiful!!!e5bf1246a0b07b78aa462f00fa84a142Farrah never had to wear heels for height – she was just so pretty.c37aa2500154abf05d879b49b7a41ed9Yes, the clutch bag brings back a memory or two as well.

I rocked “short” even as a youngster.  I did an essay in school called “Does a Person’s Height Make Them More Successful?”  Sadly, the answer is yes.  The taller a person is, the more respected they are and the further ahead they get.  So, short people have a hurdle to jump (no pun intended) – tall people jump hurdles easier too.  We get overlooked (again, no pun intended) until we speak – and if we don’t speak up, we will not be heard.  When I speak – it has to be loud so that people will look down and notice me.  It’s true.

There was a popular song back in the 1970’s that made me crazy.  It was called SHORT PEOPLE.  Ugh…  ok – here it is:  wake me up when it’s over.

Now that I’m older and the fashions have gotten more kind to all body types, I don’t feel so bad about being short.  That’s why today I am celebrating Petite and Proud Day!  I may as well embrace my petite, because it’s not likely to change anytime soon, ya know???5-4 PETITE & PROUD

I believe it has less to do with stature and physical traits – and more to do with personality, positive attitude, charisma and the traits that come from deep down inside your soul.  Get to know a short person from the inside out…  it will bless your day!  🙂