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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Shortly after heading out on my run Friday night I received word of the passing of my Aunt Jimmie.  It hit hard.  So many memories passing through my mind. Emotions overflowing. But you know something? Not one single negative thought. How wonderful is that? I don’t have a single negative memory of her. Nor do I know of anyone ever saying anything negative about her. Not to mention I’ve never heard her say anything negative about anyone.

How beautiful is it to have known and been loved by such a one as she? I remember back in third grade when I was learning to write. We were supposed to write a letter to someone. I wrote my letter to Aunt Jimmie. Wow, that was a long time ago.  Aunt Jimmie and Uncle Rudy came to my high school graduation way back in 1986. I was so proud that they made the trip up to Nashville to be there. It was rare that they came to visit so this was truly special for me.

I can’t write about my wonderful memories of my beloved Aunt without mentioning food. She and Uncle Rudy always had a big garden. I loved sitting down to a meal at their house. Oh the vegetables she would cook. Crowder peas, green beans, and butter beans were but a few.  The pickles. My oh my those pickles. Never before and never again will there be any pickles to compare to hers.

Breakfast memories are the best. She would make her biscuits from scratch. Rolling out the dough and taking a glass to cut out her bite sized biscuits. She would fill that cast iron griddle with those little pieces of heaven.

She had a way of scrambling eggs like no other. I’ve tried to scramble them like hers for the better part of 40 years. I’ve never been able to come close to hers.

After the passing of my Daddy back in 1987 she and Uncle Rudy were my shelter in the storm. They always made me feel special.  She and Uncle Rudy never were fond of my facial hair. Once Uncle Rudy told me that he wanted me to be a pall bearer at his funeral. There was one catch. He wanted me to be clean shaven. I gave him my word and honored his request. Not long after Uncle Rudy’s passing Aunt Jimmie asked me to promise her the same thing.

If you see me or photos of me in the next few days, you’ll know why I’m clean shaven. I hope that seeing my boyish face will make you think of my wonderful Aunt. I also hope she and Uncle Rudy are looking down and enjoying knowing I’ve kept my promise to them. I can still hear their voices.

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Here I sit midway through yet another workweek.  Supper has been cooked, eaten and cleaned up. Never enough time anymore. Listening to some music trying to get my mind right. So many thoughts and struggles passing through my grey matter. Somehow I doubt I’ll ever know the answers. 

The shortened daylight hours are a good example of how the days feel to me. Granted I spend my nights trucking across the highways and byways of this land. But those nights are necessary to enable me to take care of other responsibilities. I dream of the day when I can work during the daylight. However that will be a bitter sweet time. 

The roller coaster ride that is my life is not unlike the roads that wind their way across the hills and hollows of my beloved Tennessee. Twisting, turning, climbing and falling. Sometimes sharing the road with others. Many times walking through life alone. Each bend another challenge. Each crossroad another choice. 

The road I travel is long and tiresome. The heavy burden of the load causes me to grow weary.  Though not as strong as in times past, I journey on.  I need and take more breaks these days.  Those many loads have and are taking their toll upon me. Both in the physical and the emotional sense. 

My fate belongs to me and the way in which I react to others. That reaction time may have slowed over the years. Some ways that is good. Other ways not so much.  Taking a moment to empty a few thoughts is often good for me.  One of life’s simple pleasures.  Having so many that take the time to review my writings adds to that pleasure. Another is the enjoyment of a refreshing beverage.  So for now I’m going to enjoy one more glass of tea. Then it’s off into another night’s journey along life’s highway. 

It’s true! I believe that you will agree once you’ve read what I have to say. How often anymore do you hear the voices? Be honest. I bet it isn’t all that often. Sometimes I can go all day and not hear a single voice.  Other times I can make it a day or two. 

Mostly there are text and checking social media instead. Especially this time of year I check the weather. I can get directions. I can find out damn near anything. I take photographs. Within seconds from taking them I can post them to social media. Boom! They are instantly world wide. 

I use apps for texting and photo sharing. I use apps for music. I use apps for email. There’s an app for damn near everything. Amazing what all we can do. But really, when have you actually heard the voices? I bet not very often. 

There are generations growing up today that don’t have a clue that phones were once only in houses or businesses. Who remembers the pay phone? When’s the last time you tried to find one? For those of you who live on the road I bet you remember when truckstops had phones at the tables. That is when they actually had sit down eating places instead of fast food.  There were even rows of phone booths at one time. 

Seldom do I hear the voices on my phone anymore. Well, unless you count the voices talking back to me from certain applications. But not the human voices. We are quickly becoming a world that doesn’t talk. We text. When share photos. We blog. We don’t handwrite things and we don’t talk via our phones much anymore. 

Nope. I don’t hear the voices much anymore at all. Do you?

Far too often and especially this time of year we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. It’s go go go. Now if you’re a go-go girl then that’s a good thing. But for the rest of us it can be hectic. Not to mention this is the time of year that everyone and every charity seems to have their hand out wanting our money. 

Holidays are nice. Having the time off work has become more important to me than the money. Speaking of money. Holidays usually don’t pay as much as a regular work day. For some they don’t pay at all. Take the small business owner. If they don’t work they don’t make money.  Yet these are some of the main people that are targeted when people are looking for donations. 

To me it seems as though some of these charities spend way more money asking for money than they do on their charity. You make a donation one time because someone you know was doing a walk, run or some other fundraiser and see how many years you keep getting pestered by the charity. 

Only you can decide what is right or wrong for you to spend you hard earned money on. Hell, you don’t even have to spend money. Perhaps you volunteer. Giving your time and talents is a valuable donation too. Don’t think that because you don’t have money to give that you can’t do something.  You would be amazed at the organizations who need folks to make phone calls, file papers and help organize for events and such. 

Look around you. There are people near everyone of us who need help. Your knowledge after going through a hardship. Simply sitting down over a cup of coffee and having a long conversation to encourage someone can do wonders. Maybe you know a single parent that could use a hand watching their kids. Picking up a few extra items at the grocery and dropping them off to someone can make all the difference. 

So you don’t feel comfortable doing these things. Okay. How about picking up a gift card to a local store or even say a Visa gift card from your bank. Mail it anonymously to someone. $20 can get someone over the hump until payday. Say they have enough food in the cabinets to make it but they don’t hardly have enough gas to get all the errands done. Boom! Gas money. 

Sure we don’t always all get along. Lord knows I do my share of pissing people off. But there are things all of us can do. We can do it anytime throughout the year. It doesn’t have to just happen during the Holidays.  Often we hear of people paying for the person’s order behind them in the drive through. There are many more things we can do. 

Taking the time to do something small can leave a lasting impression on someone. For one it gives them hope. Hope that all isn’t lost. Hope that all folks aren’t bad. Look around you. There are people hurting and struggling. Some you may never know because they are masters at hiding it. We don’t have to donate millions for it to matter. 

When it comes down to it we are a just another link in the chain.