Snow Day in North Carolina!

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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

What If… we could just slow down?

This week’s Spin Cycle is about the topic, “What if?”

I liked this poem, because it makes me think about how short life is, and what is really important.

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How Do You Live Your Dash?

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning … to the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years. (1900-1970)
For that dash represents all the time
That she spend alive on earth…
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars…the house…the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard…
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat others with respect,
And more often wear a smile…
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy’s being read
With your life’s actions to rehash….
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
Author Unknown

THERE WAS NO BRIDGE

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by Gladys Parker, November 2000

 

Sometimes I dwell on yesterdays;

So many years have passed.

Wonder how I came this far

And grew this old so fast.

 

It seems just like a dream,

But it’s true, I know.

There was no bridge over the river

On the ferry we would go.

 

I see the ferry coming

Across the great divide.

It’s docking now to take us

To the other side.

 

Then reaching the other side,

Tractors are by the way

To pull the cars from the mud

And ruts of murky clay.

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Today the roads are highways,

Smooth ribbons everywhere.

Cars are going faster

And planes are in the air.

 

So many things have changed

In Wilmington, my home town.

Now we have two bridges

And need no ferry around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mysteries

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As each season passes by,

When rain drops from the sky

Or the sun shines from above

And we feel the warmth of love,

Does not mankind understand?

These are the wonders of His hand.

How the wind stirs the trees

Or lashes out on angry seas

And whips the sand across the dune

Or scurries clouds o’er the moon.

Does not mankind really know?

These are wonders He doth show.

He pulls the shade when there is light

To make the darkness of the night

All our cares and burdens keep

While we rest in blissful sleep

When morn comes, we know someone

Moved the stars, the moon and sun.

If the greatness of this span

Is not enough to convince the man

Let’s ponder on a baby’s birth,

Life and death upon this earth,

Then we surely understand

These are the mysteries from God’s own hand.

Gladys Parker

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Things I learned from my Grandmother

 

 

I learned that sometimes the best friend a child can have is her Grandmama…

For when all elase fails, ask her!

I learned that when you love someone, you make sacrifices

Lots of them, as many as you need to, for as long as you are able.

I learned that there is always a way to do something, if you “put your mind to it.”

I learned all the important things from her:

How to mix colors on a canvas, write a poem that will make people cry, cook collards, bathe a baby, load a washing machine, frost a cake, catch a crab with a chicken neck and some string and sit up straight!

I learned that a real lady is gracious and kind and speaks softly, never loudly

And makes sure she is dressed for the occasion.

I learned how to be polite and tolerant when people are rude and obnoxious

To people I dislike, or don’t approve of

And especailly to people I really do love, when they’re getting on my nerves.

I learned that charity begins in your own home

Then extends to your extended family

And that I have a responsibilty to others,

To my parents, and my ancestors, and my country.

I learned that alot of things are “too messy to fool with”

That it’s OK to get mad, but then you have to “let it go.”

That sometimes you have to lie awhile in a bed you’ve made

And some things in life are just pure wrong.

I learned that the best way to show love is by actions, not words.

That sometimes you have to stop and take a rest

But that it’s never too late to get started.

I learned that grownups can be alot of fun,

That childrens’ dreams really do matter

And that no matter how old you get, “You’re as young as you feel.”

I learned how to stop and let the ocean speak to me

And I never look at it without thinking of her.

I learned that you always, always, always defend the ones you love,

Refuse to listen to anyone criticize them,

And rush to help them when no one else does.

I learned that God answers prayers,

But not always right away.

And help often comes from the most unlikely places.

I’ve learned to never judge a book by it’s cover

That ordinary people can hide the greatest souls

And that poor people are sometimes the most generous, and the richest.

I learned that if you really feel like you should do something

Then you do it.

If you feel the need to say something

Then you say it.

But if it’s something “ugly” then you should probably bite your tongue.

I learned that you don’t say things like “pee” in front of the Preacher,

Or otherwise make a spectacle of yourself in public

And sometimes you just have to laugh.

I learned that it’s not necessary to tell everything

And to never be afraid to try something new.

To look at the clouds and try to imagine what kind of brush I’d use to paint them.

And always carry a light jacket if it looks like rain.

I learned that everything worth doing takes work

That some things are just out of our hands

And when something is finished, leave it be.

I learned that The Rock of Gilbralter

is sometimes disguised as a short, round, grey headed woman,

That talking things over with her

Could put anything into perpective

That no matter where I go, or what I do, or who I become

She will always believe in me and always love me.

I learned from her that family is the most important thing,

That children are to be cherished and protected,

And to be proud of the hard work of all my parents and grandparents.

She taught me that solitude can be a good thing

And no matter how alone I am,

I am never completely alone.

She taught me all about unconditional love

And, in doing so, the Love of God.

My greatest regret is not having a daughter to name after her.

My greatest hope is that someday

I will be as beautiful as she is.

And my greatest wish is for her to know

how significant she has been in my life

And how much a part of me she has become.