Sunday, April 24, 2011

SS topic for Easter weekend '11----"Shine"

Absolutely appropriate for Easter weekend: SHINE. Dazzling sunshine and spring flowers, bright colored Easter eggs & baskets & children's clothing and ladies' shoes. Easter's image and stereotype are wonderfully and remarkably bright with new spring shininess. And today is indeed a beautiful shiny Easter!!

But now I make my home in Wilkes County, NC, home of Junior Johnson. Now when one says "shine" to me, I must consider the other meaning, the one implicit in the history of my new home county, where "shine" is just as likely to refer to the liquid product, white in color, and also called "white lightning" or "moonSHINE." Wilkes county, where our step up in culture is defined by our annual "Shine to Wine" festival, announcing and exposing our new productivity in wineries. You ought to come visit in May.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Delicious for Sunday Scribblings

Holiday celebrations and meals: Delicious--yes, indeed!! I would really say "yummy" and "fattening". From sweet potatoes with marshmallows or just 3 kinds of meat and dressing with gravy to multiple desserts, it all adds those pounds I have fought (pretty successfully with the fifteen+ year help of Weight Watchers)to keep off. Delicious--that is what I would like to call the quality time with family and friends--yes, usually over food--that also, if you are fortunate, comes with the holidays.

Hope you all had a peaceful, joyful, meaningful Christmas. Now please have a safe and happy New Years celebration. And may we all be blessed with a new year that is healthy and happy and prosperous.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Where in the World SS #173

Somewhere beautiful;
Somewhere serene;
Somewhere to age gracefully,
but energetically,
having adventures
with my love.

Somewhere with 4 equal seasons
with spectacular colors in spring and fall;
A place with a little bit of HOT
and a little more COLD;
but mostly just perfectly comfortable.
A place with fabulous mountains on the horizon,
where a vast variety of trees are found,
where deer and birds
and other wild life abound;
where hiking and biking are inviting.

A small town where everyone speaks
and waves to everyone else;
where people work together
on projects and on fun;
where anyone you ask for help is
willing and eager to do so;
and where all work together
to meet community needs;
where treasures are discovered in
everyday people and buildings;
and where history is alive and new.

A place with rivers and greenways,
with live entertainment free
in downtown streets and little restaurants.
A place with music and theater
but also churches and picnics and camping
and boating and swimming;
Where even new neighbors are invited to the
Memorial Day cookout...

Where in the world???
Our little town!!

And we love it!!!!!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Plan--what plan? me--plan? SS #172

I do make plans, often plans in great detail, but they are usually short range plans--decorating the bedroom, remodeling the kitchen, taking a trip to Pennsylvania or California, or even making sure that JR and I actually make the return trip to Europe that he promised to join me in taking. However, I don't think I actually make major long-range, capital "P" plans. I have general goals-sure; but basically, on the grand scale, I think I sort of just let my life evolve. I think I just figure that God has the grand Plan for me and He will show it to me in His good time.

I always knew I would go to college, get married, have a family,... I knew that at some point in my life I definitely wanted to travel in Europe, because Mom did with one of her sisters and she had such great fun stories of her trip. I really didn't have an occupational plan, because Mom was always a stay-at-home mother. I know she worked before we kids were born, but I never saw her go off to work. So, until JR & I met and fell in love at the university and he said, in my junior year, "Do you realize if you get out of here with a degree in literature, you will be an 'educated unemployable'?" I had never really thought about having an on-going occupation to help support a family. Silly me! Silly, short-sighted me!!

It was actually JR's suggestion that I get certified to teach. I had certainly played around mentally with the idea of teaching, was even in FTA (Future Teachers)club in high school. I loved school and most of my teachers and leadership and entertaining from a "stage", but I always talked myself out of any such serious plan because I knew I would hate the perpetual paper work. But by the end of college it sounded like a good plan and I embraced it.

Wow, was it a smart plan. When I did my intern teaching, I realized I really loved it! So that became my plan for the next 37 years. I did take half year segments off here and there--when they sent JR to war and later, after he returned safely, to have our daughter. Even eventually getting my Master's degree, which really did help shape my continuing career in education, was not a pre-made plan. One of the local private universities offered teachers a really good deal, to boost their own enrollment, and help us get advanced degrees without taking time off from actually working our day jobs. Several of my friends were doing it and, at that time, it was the only way to get a significant increase in salary in a short time; and we surely needed to get a significant pay increase. So I did it, and it opened new career doors for me that I hadn't even imagined much less planned. When I took the first administrative position that the new degree qualified me for, it was just a deal I made with a new principal so I could move to a school closer to home and still be teaching some of the "gifted" classes that I so enjoyed. If he would let me teach a couple of those classes, I would be his department head for language and arts to replace the lady who went to the "new" school.

I do believe in commitment! I stick with things. Is that plan or personality/ character? JR & I will have 40 years married at the end of this summer and I gave teaching 35 full years before I retired. Commitment is an important part of any Plan to me.

My "Plan"---if indeed I have one, I must believe is summed up in part of one of my daily prayers---originally created but from unoriginal, borrowed snippets from several sources: "Lord, make me an instrument of Thy will and Thy ways. Let my thoughts, words, and actions be governed according to Thy teachings. May Thy Love and Faith show forth in my life. And, please help me each day to become more and more nearly the kind of person You would like me to be."

It has been a good plan for me. I guess it is not a true Plan as many people would conceptualize one. Yet, it has stood me in good stead for many years. At this point in my life, I think I shall just stick with it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Musings on Indulgence SS# 171

Indulgence---good? or bad? It is sometimes one, sometimes the other.

I would think its common connotation is negative. I was musing about it as I drove to church this morning trying to really decide which I felt it usually was. My best quick definition was that indulgence is allowing ourselves or someone else to {revel in, over partake of, spoil themselves with} something that probably isn't really good or healthy for them. As in: "indulge my craving for chocolate, ice cream, cookies, cheese, wine..." what have you. Or "one who is an indulgent parent frequently has spoiled or undisciplined children."

About that time, I realized there was another driver driving right up behind my rear bumper, but I was going the limit and as fast as I was comfortable going. Just then the pavement widened to 2 lanes going my way and I pulled my car clearly into the right lane and muttered "Indulge yourself, better you get the ticket than me." That also seems to endorse negativity.

There has been much speculation about whether or not the "Boomers" were over indulged by our parents who lived through the Great Depression and wanted their children to have better, with the result that things came too easily and abundance came to be expected and this being the example which was set for us, we followed and amplified it for our own children, to the end that the marvelous WWII work ethic has been replaced by the "it's not my fault," "that is not my responsibility" mentality.
Now indulgence seems to have become the "norm" and it has led to all too many obese children and bored, apathetic teens and young adults who believe that the world owes them a living with all the nice acuetrements.

I am not saying I am right. These are just the musings of an old mind playing with the word indulge/indulgent.....

But on the other side I would make a distinction between indulgence and "lovely indulgence" which is a phrase that reminds me of my precious mother. Lovely indulgences would be such as wandering in a lush colorful garden in early morning in the springtime with multi-colored flowers as far as the eye can see, walking into the refrigerator in the back of a flower store to revel in the aroma of all the wonderful fresh cut flowers, or lying on one's back in the grass looking at a blue sky full of billowy white clouds and trying to decide what the shapes make you think of...

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Small town Reverie

Ah, the happiness of simplicity, the simplicity of a small town! We've been watching old episodes of "Twilight Zone" this evening and perhaps they have influenced my perception a bit, tho I think not, just my musing philosophical attitude toward the delightful aspects of this evening's activities. But JR and I just felt such simple, childlike delight in tonight's unplanned, serendipitous activities.

This July 3rd Friday evening, we set out to try a small family restaurant in our new small town. We had a tasty Italian meal that completely filled us, then instead of climbing back into the car, we gave in to an urge to take a short walk across a nearby pasture, following a dirt road toward an old wooden gate. We crossed a small creek into another empty pasture before turning back. The 88 degree day had cooled to 68, and our long sleeved shirts felt good as we walked along the creek. As we started back toward the parking lot, we were amused to watch some members of a large family group who had also been eating in the restaurant, playing chase or tag, simply frolicking with one another in the half empty parking lot, burning off excess energy in the last of the daylight, while others of the adults finished some friendly conversation. How charming and foreign this seemed to us metropolitan transplants.

Not wanting to go home yet on such a lovely evening, we drove into the small downtown area seeking unfamiliar landmarks which were part of the directions I had been given by someone at the chamber of commerce indicating where the fireworks would be held tomorrow night. Unable to locate them, we ended up asking a local policeman sitting in his car in a small shopping parking lot. From his directions, we identified the park where tomorrow's fireworks would take place. We just rambled around exploring until dusk passed into darkness, then headed in the direction of home via the grocery store to purchase the hamburger meat we had promised to bring to the family cookout. In the store, JR discovered some new Starbuck's ice creams "on sale" so we picked up a couple of those to take home and try.

Returning to our vehicle, still in the parking lot, we could hear and see fireworks going off, nearby, between where we were and our neighborhood, on our way home. Right along the main route through town, right near the Harley Davidson shop and a used car dealership, there was the obligatory fire truck and lots of cars!! We might not have heard anything about these fireworks but lots of people had! Some people even had lawn chairs. But most had just pulled their cars off the road, on both sides of the road, into the available parking lots---of closed-for- the-evening businesses, of abandoned businesses, even in among the used cars for sale. Some people were sitting on the ground, others on the hoods of their cars, others were standing around, but most were simply sitting in their cars, with the windows open, just enjoying the show.

We pulled our little pick-up off the road into the car lot driveway, rolled down the windows, and parked, with all the others. The show was colorful and fast paced. Because it seemed appropriate to the whole "back to childhood" experience, I suggested we try the new ice cream. So after some digging around, I located the plastic spoon JR keeps in the pocket of the car door and wiped it clean with a napkin also kept there. Then, we two 60 year olds climbed up on top of the truck bed cover and watched the fireworks while eating yummy ice cream from the carton with a shared plastic spoon, while we giggled delightedly. "Sippin' cider through a straw.." updated to 2009.

We love our retired life in our small mountain town.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This is sort of a test blog. I haven't written in so long (more than a year, maybe 2) because I could not get onto my own blog and after moving and changing internet providers it became really impossible. Now, thanks to one of my precious "spare" daughters, I am hopefully back in. Hello again, cyber world. Thank you, thank you TRC.

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