The Big Hurt

Today’s topic on The Daily Post is “What’s going on in your life right now that’s driving you nuts?”

Right away, the wise folks at WordPress qualify this with a warning about venting about people in your life. They advise us not to give names or descriptions of people we’re venting about because they could read our blog and get angry.

Well, that kind of makes it impossible to do, y’all.

I would love to blog about what is driving me crazy, making me angry, making my eyelids twitch, causing me to wake up in the middle if the night and not get back to sleep, breaking my heart, worrying me to death and pretty much making me feel ignored, discarded, unappreciated and used.

But then, all you moms out there probably have already figured it out. There’s only one relationship in our life that has the capacity to hurt us this way, right?

This morning I find myself missing my grandmother, and wishing I could talk all of this over with her. Somehow, I know she would have the right words to say. I know she would have words of advise about why mothers have to endure hurts like this. She would give me hope by telling me a few stories of her own problem, and how they were resolved.

Or, maybe she would read to me one of her many poems. Like this one.

“If”

If I had a million bucks
Or thousands – just a few
I would never hesitate,
I’d divide it all with you.

If I won the Nobel Prize
And that I’ll never do
But, if it really came about
You’d be honored too.

If I had just one wish
And knew it would come true
I’d wish for health and happiness
And share it all with you.

Health and happiness – magic words.
Sometimes hard to find
Often when needing them,
They’re right there in our mind.

So many ifs in our lives
Only dreams, its true
But honest – if “ifs” happened
My thoughts would be of you.

My thoughts are with you today,  my special someone who is driving me crazy right now, and I would give anything to be able to talk to you. Since I can’t, I will dedicate Grandmama’s poem to you. Remember what she told you the last time you saw her?

“Just be good to one another.”

I will always love you, no matter what. You know who you are.

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Finding Love the Second Time Around

This week’s Spin Cycle topic is Love and Valentine’s Day.

This is a picture of my husband, Jeff, and I on our wedding day. It was a second wedding for each of us, and we are now coming up on our ten year anniversary. Jeff likes to say that, between the two of us, we had forty four years of marriage experience, and that we both at least knew what we didn’t like.

He’s real romantic like that, y’all.

I’ve shared a lot of my grandmother’s poems on here, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared on of my own – until today. I thought this would be an appropriate way to wish my Babe a Happy Valentine’s Day.

And if you’re lonely, and single, and wondering if you’ll ever find the right person for you, I hope my poem will give you some hope today.

My Prize

He’s the Promise my heart’s been expecting

Half my lifetime to happen to me.

He’s my fantasy, more than I’d longed for,

Or dreamed could possibly be.

My greatest hopes and deepest needs

Are met when I look in his eyes.

He is my wonder, he is my fortune, he is my prize.

His touch is like silk in the morning.

His smile fills my thoughts through the night.

For so long I have dreamed that I’d hold him

And our toubles would melt out of sight.

His face with its changing expressions

Brought the sunshine to light my dark skies.

I’ve found my friend! I’ve found my lover! Iv’e found my prize!

I had searched high and low for his presence

From a lonely and cold distant land.

I have bloomed in the shade like a flower

From the kind, gentle care of his hand.

He must know how much he has changed me

Oh, if I could help him to just realize

That he is my Prince. He is my Hero. He is my Prize.

I’m not sure he believes that I love him.

He’s been hurt and it rips me apart.

I know deep inside how he needs me,

To mend all the dents in his heart.

So I’ll hold on and wait; he will let me

My faith is this man will survive

He is my Darling. He is my Angel. He is my Prize.

And I thank God above that I’ve found him.

It was worth all the years on my own.

No more waiting in pain and frustration,

No more living without, and alone.

For I am so thrilled with my treasure

His love is the greatest surprise,

It’s always with me. It is my comfort. It is my prize.

Gettin’ Old is Scary, Y’all

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This week’s Spin Cycle topic is Halloween.

This is a picture of my friend, Debbie, and I. We don’t really look like this, although there are days when I fell pretty darn close to it. She and her husband came to visit us last October, and we had fun wearing these masks while we rode around town and waved at folks out the window.

I know. Sad what amuses us old women, isn’t it?

 

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My dear Grandmama Gladys passed away last year on October 23, the week after this photo was taken. She was a prolific writer. She wrote poetry and her life story, which I love to use whenever I just don’t have time to be original highlight every now and then.

I also have another blog, which is dedicated to her. It’s called The Rock of Gibraltar. I know she would have loved blogging, if only the internet had been invented a few decades sooner!

When she was in her 90’s, she wrote a new poem every month for her community news letter. Even at her advanced age, she was a stickler for making sure her work was “just so”. I can’t begin to tell you how many times my mother, who served, among other duties, as her typist, was told to redo the whole poem, because Grandmama had discovered a typo!

This is one of her poems she wrote for the newsletter. Since I can’t hold a candle to a ninety-something woman have to work all weekend, I’m going to let Grandmama fill in for me.

OCTOBER DAYS

Winter is coming – its getting cold.
Pumpkins are turning reddish-gold.
And on this colorful October day
Yellow and gold are on display.

It is a wonderful sight
Pumpkins are waiting for candle lights.
And when the children pick one out,
This is it, they always shout!

Pumpkin pie and whipped cream
Are many folks fondest dream.
But children would rather have in place
A silly cut-out pumpkins face.

Halloween comes at last
And at the door with gruesome masks
Are goblins, witches and ghostly things
And “trick or treat” a familiar ring.

This brings memories of the past
But childhood days never last.
We are older and already gray
Giving all the treats away.
Age brings a new kind of joy
Watching the happiness of girls and boys.

Gladys Parker
October 2002

If Tomorrow Comes…

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard ….damn near impossible….a monumental task on the weekends..the biggest challenge of my life so far….can we just say only seven days left?…almost over and I have really, really run out of things to saybecome the bane of my existenceworse than I ever imagined it would be…forcing me to dig deep these last few days.

The theme of this was supposed to be “tomorrow”, but really, how much can you say about something that’s never here, is not guaranteed to arrive, and yet, the whole reason most of us keep getting up every day. See? It’s not like just posting your recipe for making sweet ice tea, y’all.

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This little cutie pie is my granddaughter, Freya. I’m just going to blatantly cheat today and post a poem that my grandmother wrote about baby smiles, miles, gloom, shadows, God, tomorrow and time.

She would have adored this face, God love her.

TIME

Enjoy the times a little child smiles
Or old folks running their healthy miles.
Take time to smell flowers in bloom.
Look into the shadows – cast out the gloom.

Time is precious and time will tell
If its used wisely and used well.
Sometimes its wasted – that is sad!
One life lived is the time we had.

Our God created everything.
Take time to worship – His praises sing.
If tomorrow comes, what will you do?
Waste not the time that comes to you.

Gladys Parker
Sept. 2000

THE VALENTINE

This week’s Spin Cycle is about, what else, y’all? LOVE.

I could write line after line about how much I love my husband, my sons, my daughter-in-law, my parents, my dog. But today my thoughts turn towards a person who greatly influenced my entire life, right from when I was a child. She was the glue that held my family together. She showed me, by her example in everything she did, what it means to have your priorities in the proper order. Her love and her fierce protection for her family never wavered and it never failed. She was my Rock of Gibraltar, my inspiration and my grandmother.

spaceballgladys-parkerThis is a picture of my grandmother, Gladys Parker, when she was about 15 years old.  She wrote the following poem when she was 88. The valentine she describes must have been around 76 years old. She was a down to earth, practical, no nonsense woman – not at all a girly, romantic type. The fact that she saved this valentine surprises me. The moral of the story? You just never know how long those valentines you send today will be saved, or how much they could mean…to somebody.

The Valentine

“You know I love you;
Can you guess who?”
Is written on my valentine.
Another like it, you cannot find.

Its kept among my souvenirs
Of the past – these many years.
Now and then I take it out
And remember how it came about.

Coming in to school one day
Upon my desk – there it lay.
A bright red heart, homemade too,
Saying, ” You know I love you”.

So childish and inquisitive me
Looked around – who can it be?
He had his eyes inside a book
He knew I knew by his look.

Its been so long – long ago;
His name now I do not know.
But many times I wonder how
This old man is doing now!

Gladys Parker
January 2000

Ans this is how Gladys looked in 2000, when this poem was written. She wrote hundreds of poems in her life, and even had her works published in a book, “Then and Now.”  Sadly, she passed away last October at 96 years old.  You can enjoy more of her poems, and read her life’s story here, at The Rock of Gibraltar, a blog I have started in her memory.

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Home Entertainment, or “How to Survive When You’re Broke”

img_0019This image is an original oil painting by my grandmother, Gladys Parker. You can read more of her poetry and learn all about this amazing woman at her blog, The Rock of Gibraltar.

This week’s Spin Cycle topic is supposed to be about sharing our best cost cutting secrets to help you get through these tough economic times. I must confess – I have no cost cutting tid bits. I’m kind of like Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar.  I spent the first 24 years of my adult life living hand to mouth. When you’re always broke, and always poor, you don’t think about how to cut costs. You think about how to answer the phone when the bill collectors call. You think about how you’re going to buy a week’s worth of groceries on the measly nineteen dollars you have left over in your checking account, after you paid your light bill (late) so you could have power for a few more days.

We ate alot of grilled cheese sandwiches and canned applesauce, y’all. I don’t want to think about it, much less type anything about how I did it. I just did it.

So. Here’s my spin on this topic. I give to you the words of the wisest woman I’ve ever been privileged to know – my grandmother, Gladys Parker. She raised her three children, on her own, during the great depression.

One of her favorite expressions was “making do”. As in, “we just had to make do”. She was an expert at making do.

To say she was tough is an understatement. She had to be. And in living her life, she learned to appreciate, to revel in, the little things around her. She entitled this poem “Home Entertainment” because, truly, this is how she entertained herself. Not by spending money on movies, or dinners or in the shopping malls. She looked out of her window and marveled at the creatures and beautiful sights that were there. And then she wrote about it, or painted it, and in doing so, shared a bit of herself with the world.

HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Interesting, the things that I see
Looking out over my balcony.
Squirrels are running and playing today
Up and down their little highway.

Amid the trees – most limbs are bare
And not quite touching everywhere.
For the little gaps they care not at all
They take their jump and almost fall.

Two of them jump with great ease
Like a pro on the flying trapeze.
Another is running – then turns around,
Sizing things up ’til a new way is found.

The last one comes to try his hand,
Jumped right over – where did he land?
On a branch that bent far, far down
He nearly fell to the ground!

It’s fun to watch these dare-devils play
And beautiful birds that come this way.
Hadden Hall is the place to be
On the penthouse floor up in the trees.

Gladys Parker
January 2001

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.

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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