My New Year Plan – To Enjoy

This week’s spin cycle, brought to us by the ever engaging and evolving Sprite’s Keeper is about New Year’s Resolutions. From some darn reason, I can’t hardly bring myself to do this one, y’all.  The whole idea of having to “resolve” to do something is way too final.

I think it’s because Southern women kinda shy away from resolutions. It sounds so formal and churchy, as in, “The Southern Baptists have formally voted to adopt a new resolution.” It reminds me of a formal, sit-down dinner. You know the kind, where you send out invitations that say “RSVP” on the bottom in fancy gold letters, and you have to get out your great grandma’s silverware and polish it up? I envision starchy tablecloths, linen napkins and awkward silences, or somebody finding a piece of old food stuck to the back of a salad bowl. Shudder.

I’d prefer something alot more casual. As in, “Y’all come on over for supper, we’re havin’ homemade vegetable soup and cornbread with sweet ice tea.”

And well, sure, we Southern gals sometimes “resolve” to think about it tomorrow, if it’s really wearin’ on our nerves, but any Southern woman worth her weight in fat back will tell you – we are much better at making a PLAN. Now, a PLAN is something I can get all a-twitter about. A PLAN requires a list. And being a true southern gal from “North Cackalaky”, there ain’t  nothin’ I love better that writing (actually, revising, ’cause I always have one)  my good ole ‘”To Do” list. It’s second only to shoppin’ for new shoes, y’all.

In thinking about stuff I’d like to do this year, I’m ever conscious of the loss of my grandmother this past October. I have a fresh understanding of how short life really is, and I feel like we need to enjoy it as much as we possibly can, while we still can.

So, in the interest of promoting All Things Southern, and keeping my goal of enjoyin life more, I give you my 2009 “To Do” list:

1. First and foremost, have more frequent sex. We might as well use it before we lose it! (Hey, even the preachers are advocating this one.)

2.Enjoy the little things that I never give myself time to do. Bubble baths. Hot chocolate. Reading books. Listening to music. Painting. Lighting candles. Watching the sun set. Walking on Wrightsville Bdcp_09801each.

3. Make a memories DVD of the pictures we took LAST summer. I enjoy torturing my family by making them sit down and look at our pictures.

4. Finish scanning all of my grandmother’s old family photos, so I can make  DVDs to send to all of her family, and  type all of her poems, so they are saved in my computer. And then, make poetry DVDs to send to the family. My grandmother had alot of profound things to say, and I’m on a mission to share her words and stories.

5. Start another blog, about my grandmother’s life, with the old scanned pictures and poems. I already enjoy posting her poems, and I want to put them all out there.

6. Finally getting around to setting up my grandmother’s sewing machine, that I’ve had for 2 years and mending some clothes that probably don’t even fit anymore.

7. Help my youngest son move into his new apartment, where he’s going to college, and clean out and re-paint his old room and get new furniture for it. Then we can have friends over for the weekends, another thing I enjoy.

8. Try and get over my phone phobia, by planning to make more phone calls. That will allow me to do something else I enjoy – share a laugh with friends.

9. Plan a vacation. (There. A sentence with two of the most heavenly words in existence…PLAN and VACATION.)

10. Lose 15 pounds. I realize this is on everyone else’s list. I don’t want to stop enjoying cooking, or dinners, or eating out and especially I don’t intend to give up my cocktails. I’d just like to enjoy shopping for clothes again. I might have to join that HASAY thingy.

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CHRISTMAS TIME

Grandmama,

Although you are not going to be here today,  I made you collards. Your poem is proudly displayed on our mantle, you know, the one you wrote for us a few Christmases ago about a “little” dog, named Hannah. As we open our gifts this morning, our thoughts will be with you, and the many years we were lucky enough to have you in our lives. We will be remembering your sweet, smiling face and your words of encouragement.

Even though you didn’t make it to Christmas this year, you did get to remind us all of Christmas and make us all laugh when you joked about being “Rudolph the Red Eared Reindeer” while you were in the intensive care, and they had taped a glowing red oxygen monitor to your ear.

Some of us are not doing so good today, Grandma. I think Ryan and his girl need to be gently reminded again, of the advice you gave them the last time you saw them, “to just be good to each other”. If you have any pull in these things now, we could use a little help on this one.

I hope you are enjoying a big bowl of collards with Mama and Papa Green, all your brothers and my Uncle Billy. Please thank them all for me, for taking care of you until we can be together again. Loving you, every day, your grand daughter,

Ginger

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CHRISTMAS TIME

Christmas music is in the air
With songs and praise every where.
It fills our hearts with love and joy
For Mary’s child – a baby boy.

This child was born many years ago.
His name is Jesus and we know
The Story of His humble birth
And mission here on the earth.

Trees are blinking with tiny lights
And dusted with a bit of white.
Gifts wrapped up with fancy bows
What’s in the package? Nobody knows.

By Christmas morn the secret is out.
Just what I wanted is the shout
And happy faces show girls and boys
All excited about their toys.

Its really a magic time of year
A time of compassion, love and cheer.
A time for remembering the Holy One
Jesus Christ – God’s beloved Son.

Gladys Parker
Nov. 2002

CHRISTMAS GIVING

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This poem was written by my grandmother, Gladys Parker. She passed away this year, on October 23, at the young age of 96. This will be my first Christmas without her. It still doesn’t seem possible to me that she is really gone.

A talented woman, and a great southern lady, she left behind a large collection of poetry. In this poem, she reminds us why we give gifts to one another, and urges us to remember why we should continue to celebrate Christmas.

The “hustle and bustle” of Christmas
Is floating in the air,
Christmas shoppers – shopping
Traffic everywhere.

The tree has been selected
And trimmed all in blue;
Affix the angel at the top
Yes, that will surely do!

Sing in perfect harmony
The song, “O Holy Night”,
While placing gifts with care
Around the tree of lights.

Now, remember the familiar scene
Of Mary, Joseph and the Infant King;
The wise men with gifts and treasures
At this humble place in Bethlehem.

The shepherds left their sheep
And came from hills above;
To worship their Savior
In adoration and love.

The giving of gifts is special
Let there be love and peace on earth;
As we go about this season
To celebrate His birth.

WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS

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When I think of Christmas
And what it means to me
It’s not the shimmering tinsel
Or presents on the tree.

I think about an infant child
Born in Bethlehem
Wise men came with gifts
A bright star guiding them.

They found the child with Mary
And adored and worshiped Him.
Their gifts were by the manger
For Jesus the newborn King.

Today will be a yesterday
Like all the days before
But living in a world of war
I think of days of yore.

Loved ones will be missing
As we gather on Christmas Day.
Our thoughts will be with them
For them a prayer we’ll say.

Thank you Lord for Christmas
For the present that you gave.
For Jesus who gives us hope
Beyond the lonely grave.

Gladys Parker
November 2001