Our Harrowing Drive to Raleigh, Being Chased by a Dragon

This week’s Spin Cycle is our favorite posts. Mine was actually one of a series, called The Ordeal of a Lifetime. I really enjoyed writing about the cruise we took for my 50th birthday. Getting there was definitely NOT half of the fun. But, it’s makes a pretty darn funny story when I retell it, y’all.

I chose this third part installment, because it was one of the most looked at blogs, according to my blog stats. Sadly, my most popular blog of all time is Red Toes for Ruby Tuesday, which is basically a picture of my feet, and can’t in any way be attributed to my writing skills.

Another thing I have to add about this series: the whole thing was originally written for different Spin Cycles. My hat has to go off to Sprite’s Keeper, Jen, for coming up with such challenging and inspiring topics every week.

Please read The Ordeal of a Lifetime, Part One and The Ordeal of a Lifetime, Part Two before reading Part Three. This is for this week’s  Spin Cycle topic, Quirks.

When my husband took me on a cruise, to celebrate my 50th birthday, I ignored the advice of  every professional travel planner on the planet,  did things my own way, and in the process, managed to survive The Ordeal of a Lifetime. This is Part Three of the  story. It is true, y’all.  Every single detail of it.

Now, I had managed to live 50 years, without ever going on a cruise. Kinda like I think I might be the last living native Wilmingtonian, I think I might have been the last living woman, born before 1960, that had never been on a cruise. My mom, for example, has been on so many cruises that she’s on first name basis with the cabin attendants on Norwegian’s  Cruise Line.

100_0171The weird thing about all the cruises my mom has been on, is; she has no pictures. None. I’m not kidding. She and her husband, Bob (lovingly referred to as old fart stepdad number three) only bring back the solemn looking, 8 by 10  “pose”on Formal Night, that the ship’s photographers try to force on you complimentary shoot when you’re all dressed up for dinner.

I asked them about this. I said, “Mom, why don’t y’all take a camera and get some pictures of your trip?”

To which she replied, “Oh, Sweeeeeeetie. We don’t have time for all that mess! We’re too busy “doin’ stuff”  to fool with takin’ pictures!”

Well. I figure I must have a quirk about this. Let’s call it a camera addiction. I have to take pictures at birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, when the flowers bloom, when frinds come over, when the dog looks cute, when the cat looks annoyed, after Jeff cuts the grass and whenever we put our “dressy” clothes on, y’all. I wasn’t about to go on my first ever cruise and not take hundreds of pictures! How was I going to bore entertain all my internet friends ad nauseum for many enjoyable years to come, without a pictorial diary of each and every day’s activity?

Unlike my mom,  I’m too busy takin’ pictures to enjoy what I’m “doin’”, I guess. Needless to say, our camera was the most crucial part of our trip. Without it, well, we might as well have just stayed home.

After we survived the longest cab ride in the history of the world with that Dragon character, and woke Klinton up, surprising him with the news that he was going with us to Raleigh, I hurried into the kitchen to make a sandwich and a glass of diet coke. My stomach was growlin’, and I was feelin’ weakish, y’ all. After all, it was almost noon. By this time, I had planned to be relaxin’ on the deck of our cruise ship, enjoyin’ a nice buffet and comparin’ toe nail polish with my new internet friends.

Suddenly, I heard screaming from the living room. My very Yankee husband was screaming a very Yankee expletive that proper, southern-born gals from North Carolina also frequently say after they’ve been married to a Yankee for a while would never dream of typing, much less sayin’:

F**K!”

I dropped the bread and rushed into the living room.

“What’s wrong now?” I cried.

F**K… F**K… F**K!!!” was his answer.

I LEFT THE GOD DAMNED CAMERA BAG IN THE GOD DAMNED F**KING CAB!!” he screamed.

Poor Klinton came running out of his room, half dressed. “What’s going on?” he wanted to know.

“Jeff left our camera in the cab,” I explained, trying to remain calm. Going on this trip without our camera? Not an option.

Jeff already had the phone book out. “I’m calling the cab company!” he said.

The cab company’s receptionist was organized and efficient. She said she knew right where Dragon was, and promised to page him and have him call us back immediately.

“Here,” Jeff said, handing the phone to me. “When Dragon calls, tell him to turn around and bring our camera back! To save time, I’ll take the car and get it filled up with gas!”

Five minutes later, the phone rang. It was Dragon.

“Yes, yes, Ma’am. I have camera!” he said, triumphantly. “I bring back to you! As soon as I get back from driving another paying fare to Raleigh! I bring camera later today!”

At this point, I think my head almost exploded.

NOOOOO!!!!” I screamed into the phone said firmly.”Listen to me! WE have to go to Raleigh!! We have to leave NOW! We CAN’T WAIT!! WE NEED our camera!! You HAVE to bring it to us!!”

“OK, no problem,” he said. “I meet you at airport in Raleigh and give you camera.”

“NO! NO!” I was panicked. “We can’t meet you in Raleigh! We’ll be on too tight of a schedule! You need to bring our camera NOW!”

“I bring camera to Raleigh.” Then, unbelievably, he hung up on me.

I stared at the phone in my hand, as the call ended. I was thinking that I was going to make it my life’s work to have this Dragon fired. At that moment, Klinton, bless his heart, came out of his room and sensed that I was about to snap.

dscf4055“Mom,” he said, soothingly, taking the phone from me. “Calm down. Just  get ready to go. Let me handle this.  I’ll talk to the cab driver. You have his cell number in your cell phone now. His name’s Dragon, right? We’re all going to Raleigh. I’ll have him meet us on the road, somewhere between here and there.”

Mutely, I handed the phone to him. As I made myself a glass of diet coke on ice, I overheard Klinton talking to Dragon.

“Hello? This is Ginger’s son, Klinton. Yeah. We’re driving to Raleigh, too. Can we meet up somewhere and pick up our camera? Where are you right now? Which mile marker? OK. Call me back.”

dscf3896Soon, Jeff had returned and we were on the road. Klinton, in the back seat, was enjoying his role of mediator, in constant contact with Dragon. Jeff , in race car driver mode, was staring at the road, steely-eyed, while he gripped the wheel and drove down I-40 at 85 miles per hour. I was sipping my diet coke and chewing my nails,  hoping that we didn’t get pulled over for speeding, hoping were going to make it to the airport in time, hoping this was all just a bad dream.

Dragon claimed to be only a few miles behind us. Klinton made arrangements with him to meet up at a large rest area on I-40. We pulled into the rest area and waited. And waited. And waited.

We had about 40 minutes to complete our drive into Raleigh, find a place to park at the airport, get our five suitcases, camera bag, laptop case, pocketbook, incredibly heavy golf club bag which was stuffed with two sets of golf clubs, plus our shoes and a bottle of Peach Schnapps, and my itinerary into the airport, through security, and somehow onto the plane.

We waited for so long that we each had time to make a dash to the restrooms, one at a time. As we waited, Jeff kept threatening to leave, and Klinton kept promising that Dragon was almost there.

Then, Jeff said, “I think I see him!”

Sure enough, it was the taxi driven by Dragon, turning into the rest area. His window was rolled down and dangling out of his hand, looking for all the world like Michael Jackson’s baby, was our precious camera bag!

“He’s not gonna stop!” I cried. Jeff got out of our car, and stood alongside, waiting. Dragon drove by, barely slowing down, and tossed the camera bag at Jeff.  In his front seat, I could see a very flabbergasted and harried looking female passenger.

As Jeff jumped back into the car and we raced out of the parking lot, Klinton, always the optimist, said, “Well, at least now you have your camera back.”

But…..would we make it to Raleigh in time to catch out flight? Would we survive the stress? Would we ever get a bite of food? Would we be further harrassed by the airport security?

To be continued….

Part Four: Can a Can of Pringles and a Bloody Mary Be Classified As a Gourmet Meal?

Part Five: Another Cab Cab Driver Takes Us For a Wild Ride

Part Six: Did We Break The Sound Barrier?

Random Ramblings

randomtuesdayKeely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it. Try it – it’s addicting. Then link back to Unmom and see what other people are randomly thinking and typing about.

I’ve come to the conclusion that when people stop blogging, it’s  for one main reason. Y’all want to know what it is? It’s  work. Now,  I’m not talking about how jobs interfere with important stuff like keeping up with your blog, although that’s a problem, sure. No, what I mean is – keeping up with a blog is hard work, y’all.

It’s not like you can just sit right down and start writing. You have to figure out what you want to say, figure out if you think anyone is interested, figure out if you want to post a photo, or not, then try to find the photo you have in mind, give up looking for it because you saved it onto a disk several months (or years) ago, figure out what your title is going to be, decide if you want to just post something without a photo (or there’s always stock photos!) actually get around to writing something, spell check it, preveiw it, decide whether or not you like what you’ve written, worry that it might really sound stupid, go back and edit out the stupid sounding parts, preveiw it again, decide you really do need some kind of photo, spend a half hour perusing all your photo folders, finally pick one out and wait for it to upload, go back and change the title you had written while you are waiting for the photo to download because you obviously need something that sounds more dynamic, preveiw everything again after the photo is in place, go back and rewrite parts of what you had written because now that the title is more dynamic the post doesn’t quite measure up, glance at your watch and realize you are running out of time to get ready for your real work (the one that you earn your living from) save the whole mess as a draft, and try the whole stinking thing over again the next day.

Seriously, who has time for this?

Certainly not me, not this week. Remember my sad little post a few days back, about my grand daughter and her parents moving to Virginia? Well, it’s gotten a little more complicated. Now they are moving to Michigan. Up near Ann Arbor, to be exact.

This little complication has been happening since last Wednesday morning, when after working a twelve hour night shift, we rented a moving van for them to pack all their furniture into – in order to move to Virginia. On the weekend it was discovered that there was no longer an offer of a rental home in Virginia, so after the house they lived in here had been cleaned out, the key returned and the land lord had been kissed goodbye, the excruciating decision was made to move, instead, to Michigan.

Thank God her parents in Michigan had a vacant house that was offered to them. If only it wasn’t so far away.

Are we the only people who didn’t know that yesterday was Columbus Day? And that all the banks were  closed? And that a young couple with a four month old  baby, who are down on their luck, and trying to move all their earthly belongings somewhere, anywhere, with one set of parents in Michigan trying to deposit gas money into a bank account and the other set of exhausted parents working a twelve hour day shift in a place where they are virually cut off from outside communication, would be unable to withdraw any much needed traveling money and be forced to put off moving for another day, while the meter ticks on the exhausted working parent’s credit card to the tune of $60 per day for every day the moving van, which was due in Virginia last Wednesday, but now is being rerouted to Michigan, is turned in late?

Yeah. But it’s all because we love them, y’all.

A few things I don’t love. Like, having to carry a damn radio everywhere with me at work and being forced to listen to everybody’s boring conversations for twelve hours. Like, pretty young women (who know quite well that they are pretty) who spend their whole twelve hours at work giggling and simpering to all the male coworkers after every single sentence that comes out of her mouth. (Really, honey, everything you say is not that funny, OK?) Like, having to have an evacuation drill in the middle of the morning, which forced us to stand out in the parking lot in the beautiful sunshine, knowing that we have to go back into the building for the rest of the day until it gets dark.

Like, having to proofread this post now before I can post it. And edit it. And find a picture. And…oh fiddlesticks!

No picture today, y’all. I’m just not in the mood.

A Meme of Eight

My friend Jan, at Jan’s Sushi Bar, tagged me in this Meme. After you read this, go on over there and check her out. She always cracks me up, y’all. In addition to a lot of funny observations and stories, she has a lot of yummy looking recipes.

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Eight things I’m looking forward to, in no particular order:

1. Finishing my blog saga about what a pain in the ass neck it was to try and catch a damn dern cruise.

2. Summer. Which means going to the beach again. And eating hot dogs on the pier. And wearing shorts.

3.Vacation. I’m in the pre-planning mode right now. I’m not sure where we’re going this year, but it will be somewhere fun. The best part is the planning, which is what I get to do after I decide where we’re going.

4. Holding my first grand baby. Next month, y’all!

5. Getting another room added onto my house. Then maybe we will have enough room to invite the whole family over for dinner.

6. Buying new furniture. I’m going to absolutely need a bigger dining room table and more chairs for my new room.

7. Losing some more golf balls. My ultimate goal is to beat my Dad at golf. I’ve taken a lesson and I’m practicing really hard. In twelve more days I’ll have a shot at it!

8. Planting flowers in our flower beds. This year, I hope to include a few veggies.

Eight things I did yesterday:

1. Brought down a Draw, cleaned it, threaded it, and started it up again all by myself! (For those of you who are not employed at Corning – it’s a complicated new job I’m being forced trained to do.)

2. Had a Bloody Mary for breakfast. (After working all night, so in reality it was a cocktail after work.)

3. Took some close up photos of a family of geese.

4. Slept. All day. (See number 2.)

5. Practiced my golf swing while I was having my morning coffee at 5 pm. (See number 2.)

6. Hit golf balls in the neighborhood field. Watched Hannah run around and try to get all of them in her mouth.

7. Posted TWO blog posts. Wow. It usually takes me several days to just get ONE ready. (Update: It is already the next day and I’m not done with this. See?)

8. Did some research on resort hotels in Myrtle Beach. ( Part of vacation pre-planning. And I didn’t have any idea that there is a huge fire down there right now!)

Eight things I wish I could do:

1. Go on another Cruise. With much less drama than the first one!

2. Go to Hawaii. And stay there until I got tired of it.

3. Become so good at golf that I could quit my job and go on the senior tour. (Snort! Yeah, right after I break a hundred!)

4. Go back to the body I had when I was 20, but keeping the life wisdom I’ve acquired in the past 31 years.)

5. Buy a neat little house in the country for my son and his girlfriend who are having my first grandbaby next month. And a decent car for them to drive.

6. Kidnap my brother and force him to go to a doctor.

7. Retire with plenty of money so I could clean, rearrange and redecorate to my heart’s content, take a painting class, play golf all over the world, and cook dinner for my entire family once a week. (Yeah. Maybe I’d hire a chef, too.)

8. It occurs to me that winning the lottery would take care of most of this, so that’s number eight.

Eight shows I watch:

I’m not even sure I can come up with eight. We watch the same ones over and over, and we have all those Netflex rentals to keep on top of.  But I’ll give it a whirl.

1. CNN

2. Two And a Half Men

3. American Idol

4. Dancing With The Stars

5. The Dog Whisperer

6. Extreme Home Makeover

7. The Big Break (It’s a golf show. Yawn.)

8. Design On A Dime

Eight people I tag for this meme:

1. Debbie@ Buzzin By

2. Kyle@Meta Blog

3. Sandie@ Sandie Simply Says

4. Teenie@Teenie Thoughts

5. Jan @ Planetjan

6. Mrs.4444@Half Past Kissin’ Time

7. The Mom Jen @ Cheaper Than Therapy

8. Claudie @ Bubblin’ Over

Snow Day in North Carolina!

snow-on-the-holly-berries

The Yankees down here just don’t get it, y’all. I’m talkin’ about snow! That white stuff that falls from the sky and only happens about once every three years, here in Wilmington, NC, where the yearly average snowfall is less than an inch.

Actually,Yankees know all about snow, of course, and to them it’s just a nuisance, and mostly why they’re all here.  But to us southerners, it’s more than just weather. It’s magic.

This morning the excitement at my workplace was palpable. We were all hoping and praying for the big event. The weatherman had promised us our snow day, and everyone was all a-twitter. How much would we get? Oh, did we dare to hope for the most he had promised – a possible four inches? Should we go to the store and get “supplies” (meaning, beer and enough sugar and vanilla to make “snow cream” ) in case we were all snowed in for days?

The Yankees, on the other hand, were disgusted with us. “What do you mean, they’ve closed the schools?” they asked, rolling their eyes. “It’s just a little snow, no big deal!”

Well, looky here, that’s one of the reasons we’re different from y’all Yankees and we always will be. To us, it’s a big deal.

So here’s what we’ve got so far. This photo was taken just this morning, by my son, Kyle.

snow

I think this poem sums up our sentiments pretty well. It was written by my beloved Grandmama Gladys, who passed away on Oct. 23, 2008, at the ripe young age of 96. Grandmama, bless her heart, was the epitome of a true southern woman. Her poem relays the depth of feelin’ about this magic called snow, that we all share.

A WINTER MORNING

I awoke to silence all around,
And there it lay on the ground
A carpet of snow crept into the night,
Making my world clean and bright.

Starlings puffed their feathers out
Making them look big and stout
As they huddled in cold bare trees
Looking for food in the freeze.

Where bread crumbs lay on balcony rails,
The birds made their tiny foot trails.
Children were sledding and laughing with glee;
Truly a wonderful sight to see.

Only the Master could paint this scene
Of the beautiful earth with air so clean.
Somber gray skies so still above
White down below – His symbol of love.

Gladys Parker
Jan. 2000

I “Do Not Qualify” to Adopt a Rottweiler

smaller-hannah
Yeah, it’s pretty shameful.
Y’all know I own a Rottweiler, Hannah, that is just like my own child. My mother-in-law had this portrait done of her. It was a  Christmas present this year for my husband. We have it hanging over our mantel.  To say we adore this animal is an understatement. She is five years old, now, and when she eventually goes into the great doggie heaven in the sky, we are both gonna be blubbering idiots.
Well, recently, we got this hair brained idea, y’all. We decided that maybe it was time to get ourselves another puppy. We’d really like to give Hannah the opportunity to teach another little Rottie gal all she knows about bein’ the Most Spectacular Dog in the Entire Universe.
I hate to admit this, but we might’ve  made a few mistakes when we got Hannah. We found her online, from one of those backyard breeders. We didn’t realize, at the time, that gettin’ a puppy from a less than conscientious breeder was allowin’ them to continue to stay in business, thereby producing less that desirable specimens of the breed. Much to our dismay, our beautiful girl has hip dysplasia, and it ain’t pretty, ya’ll.  One day we will have to have her put down. And, of course, it goes without sayin’, we can’t breed her.
So this time around, I thought we’d do the noble thing, and rescue a puppy. One that wouldn’t otherwise have a chance at havin’ such committed and adoring parents, like us two fools. I found this Rottweiler Rescue outfit online and what’d ya know, they had the cutest lil ol litter of Rottie pups! Five little girls and five little boys! They even had a video camera set up to film their antics and you could watch them everyday on You Tube.
Well, naturally I fell in love with these pups. I wanted one so bad. I mean, what’s not to love about a Rottie pup? This is Hannie when she was little.
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See what I mean, y’all?
One thing I noticed, and this is important to keep in mind, is that all of these puppies had had their tails docked. Which was fine by me, I think Rotties look better with their cute little nubs.
So right away, I filled out their “Application to Adopt”. It took me almost two hours! I couldn’t believe all the stuff they were wantin’ to know! They asked about everything, and I do mean everything. What was the square footage of our house, and how many people live in it? What ages are they? How many hours do we work per week, how much do we make, who’s our vet, what’s his address and phone number and if we’ve had this vet for less than a year, what’s the name, address and phone number of out previous vet, and why did we change vets? They asked if we would ever consider a Rottweiler with a tail, and I answered No. Because I really just wanted one of the ten cute, lil puppies that had already had their tails docked.
I’m now convinced that adopting a child from China would be alot easier.
A couple weeks went by and then I got this email:
Dear Ginger,
Thank you for your application unfortunately in order to qualify, you must know your animal control laws. You state that you don’t know of any, you can familiarize yourself with animal control laws by going to their website or just calling up and asking for a copy of them.  It is very important when you own a dog that you know these laws, especially with owning a Rottweiler.
Also, you state you would never adopt a Rottweiler with it’s natural tail.  Unfortunately, this is rescue and unless their tails have been docked at under 3 days old, you have a Rottweiler with a tail.  In rescue we are about saving lives and not their looks.
Thank you and best of luck in finding a puppy.
ARRF Coordinator
Well now, excuse me all to hell, y’all, but that was just rude! Was she accusin’ me of not wantin’ to save Rottweiler lives? And the comment about their looks. That’s kinda snooty, considerin’ that they’ve already ruined the “looks” of the puppies they’re advertising all over You Tube.
So I wrote her back, and then she wrote me back, with more of her rude comments highlighted:
Dear Suzi,
I just wanted to take a minute to respond. Obviously, I can find all of my county rules and ordinances concerning animals and Rottweilers in particular. I was trying to be truthful, when answering your questionnaire. I do not have every rule memorized. But I understand that dogs require a leash, animals cannot run free except in designated parks, they must be registered, they must be up to date on their vaccinations. I would do all of these things, anyway. I already own a Rottweiler, and have had her for 5 years. I love her DEARLY and it is insulting to me, to have it implied that I would break a law, or not care properly for my dog.

***Nobody “implied” you would break a law, and if you can so easily find your ordinances, then a) why didn’t you, and b) why would you state you do not think you have any ?

As far as the tail business goes, I understand that you are not in the business of docking dogs tails. I realize that you are “saving lives”. I think it should be obvious to you that I am also interested in saving a life, by applying to adopt a dog from a shelter. I have nothing against dogs with tails, it is just my preference in Rottweilers. I also prefer to adopt a puppy. In looking at your website pictures, I see that you have a variety of dogs, some with tails, some without, some older dog and some puppies. I was trying to express my preference, and if that makes me a horrible person and not fit to own a dog, so be it.
***The question was would you adopt a dog with a natural tail and you stated “no”  If it is only your preference, then you would have stated yes, but a no implies no. We have to discount the applications where people state no because a lot of our Rottweilers have their natural tail, when you  state no to the natural tail, there is always the chance that people will get the tail amputated and mutilate our dogs, so it is a standard denial as we must always protect the health and well being of our dogs.


I am amazed that you would pronounce someone as unqualified to adopt one of your animals with no other evidence to go on. Have you really got that many folks offering to take them, and pay the adoption fees you are asking for? And are all these folks that much more qualified than my husband and I? This was my first attempt to get an animal from a shelter. I thought it was the right thing to do. What an experience, to get slapped down and rejected for not answering your questions correctly! Now I am wondering if I should just give up and not try.
*****We did not deny you with no evidence to go on, you filled out the application and in your own words, you were being truthful, that is our evidence, your truthful answers on the application.  And yes, we actually do have that many people that want to adopt our dogs and puppies and pay our adoption fee.  We actually have more applications than dogs.

By turning us down, you are shutting the door on a loving family and a great home for one of your dogs. And by doing so, you are letting down one of your dogs.
**** I am not letting down any of my dogs, as you have to fit our guidlines and qualify, so I would be letting down one of my dogs by allowing someone who does not qualify adopt.

I am attaching a picture of my rottweiler, Hannah. I want you to see that I have managed to take pretty good care of her and she is healthy, happy and loved. Thank you for what you are doing to help the breed that I love so much. I am sorry that my heart and my home do not meet your high standards.
***** These are not high standards, you should see what other rescues require for their adoptions.  These are regular standard questions to determine if your qualify for one of our dogs.  Obviously you take care of your own dog, we never said you were not qualified to love and care for your own dog, however, we do not approve applications that don’t meet our requirements.
Again, thank you and best of luck in your search for your puppy.

Well. Suzi, your whole “tone” tells me something. You migh be livin’ in North Carolina, but you’re obviously not from around here, darlin’. The part about us possibly MUTALATING one of your dogs almost made my head explode. (Is she SERIOUS, y’all? )
I guess we won’t be gettin’ another puppy anytime soon. The whole dern experience has left a sour taste in my mouth. I feel bad for poor Hannah, what with her havin’ such an unqualified, potential tail mutilatin’, requirement failin’ mother, like me. I guess loving the breed to the point of distraction, trying to be completly honest, and wanting to give a decent life to another dog counts as nothing.
So if any of y’all are thinkin’ about adopting from a rescue organization, be forewarned. Study up on all of your county ordinances, make sure you tell them that you’re willin’ to take any kind of dog they have, in any condition, and be prepared to be turned down anyways. There are homeless people livin’ under bridges down here, but a homeless dog must have the run of your house, and it better be big enough, nice enough and with enough square footage, y’all!
Oh, and also, you’ll need four real good, reliable references, who have known you for years and can vouch for your character…and a hefty $250 adoption fee.

I found a letter

I found this letter in my grandmother’s box of saved things. I wrote it sometime in the 80’s. Thank God I had taken the time to write this and send it to her.

 

Dear Grandmama,

I got to thinking about you today and I had a feeling that I wanted to write a poem about you. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a letter would be more appropriate. A poem seemed unable to express what I wanted to say.

I want you to know, without a doubt, how very much I love and cherish you. You have been, if not the biggest, then almost the biggest influence on my life. I was reading in my baby book yesterday (I found it while I was reorganizing my closet) where Mom had written that I received my first baby doll at age six months from “Grammie Parker.” And I thought, “how fitting”. I know that then, as now, you were sacrificing what little you had to bring joy and growth into my life.

 

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I’m so glad that now my children have a “Park” in their lives to think about little things that will bring happiness to them, like a box of favorite crackers or their very own trash can. I know money can’t buy love, but you have used what little you had as an instrument to express yours. And it’s made such a difference in my life, as I know it has to the rest of your family.

I have always felt very close to you, since we are both artistically inclined, but I don’t know if I inherited what talent I have or if I was just patterning myself after you. Probably, I suspect, a little of both. I loved you and wanted to be like you. You have always been just like a Rock of Gibraltar to me, someone I could depend on and trust through anything.

You have always defended me against the world, yet you expect the best from me, and are quick to lovingly correct me when I’m wrong. As a result, I try to measure up to your expectations, because I want you to be proud of me.

I am proud to be a part of a family that I have, but never really knew – your parents. You have made them seem real and close from your sharing with me about them and I love them for raising you like they did. I am so fortunate for having a mother like Mom that I am close to, also, and I feel that you deserve the credit for that, too. You passed your values and love to her and made her the caring mother she has always been to me. She is really terrific! I couldn’t ask for anyone better in a million years.

There is one more thing I want to tell you. I pray that, God willing, you will have many more years to spend with us, But I know that some day you’ll be taken from me. I think about it sometimes and I know you do, too. Mostly, I wonder how in the world I’ll bear it, not having you around. So I thought maybe if I at least told you a little of how I feel about you, it will be easier knowing that you know. I don’t want to be guilty of waiting until it’s too late to say things. You are too precious and too special for that.

Grandmama, don’t ever feel lonely or unloved. I will love you with all my heart until the day I die. A part of you will always be in me, between what I’ve inherited naturally from you and what you’ve taught me.

My greatest hope is that when I’m an old, white headed lady, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will love me like a “Grandma Park” and will squeal with joy at the windows when they see me coming to visit. Because if I can be half the lady that you are, then their joy will be very great and sincere and their lives will be enriched and changed for the better. And I will tell them all about their Great – great – great Grandma Park.

Your granddaughter, and so proud of it,

Ginger

Rising up, to call her Blessed

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She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work.

She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.

She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.

She is clothed with strength and dignity

She can laugh at days to come.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Her children rise up and call her blessed.

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;

But a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Proverbs 31: 15, 17-20, 25-26, 28-31