Sunday, December 28, 2008

A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

5 things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago:
1. Trying to adjust to my mother's death
2. Dealing with Eddy's addiction
3. Wishing the holidays would just go away
4. Dreading having to go back to work
5. Not really caring about much of anything

5 Things On My To-Do List Today:
1.Go to hospital to visit friend that is having surgery
2. Probably do some ironing
3. Try to figure out something different to cook
4. May take the dogs to be bathed
5. Try to find some answers from Eddy's attorney

Snacks I Enjoy
:1. French fries
2. anything chocolate
3. sweet tea (to me that is a snack)
4. trail mix
5. nuts

5 Things I Would Do if I Were a Billionaire
:1. Donate enough money to the church so that we could get our addition built and have everything like it should be and all mortgages paid off
2. Help Eddy get a new life started
3. Build Trina and John their lake cabin
4. Do a major make over on our house and maybe get a cabin on the river
5. Donate to St. Jude's Research Hospital

5 Bad habits
1. Fooling around on the computer too much
2. Getting more projects to do before I get caught up on the ones I already have
3. Not doing more Bible studying
4. Not cooking and cleaning house like I once did
5. Saying things before I really think it through especially when I concerns me or some one very close to me

5 Places I've lived
1. Oakman, AL
2. Huntsville AL
3. Columbia, SC
4. Tuscaloosa, AL
5. Jasper AL (when I was small and for only a short time)

5 Jobs I've Had
1. Clerk in a department store in Jasper
2. Office work at the college when I was a student there
3. Counter/snack bar worker at the local bowling alley
4. clerk at the local board of education
5. secretary/bookkeeper at the elementary school

5 Things People Probably Don't Know About Me
:1. I once dreamed of being a professional singer..
2. I once. called an old friend after I married Joe - just curious, never heard of him again
3. My brother and I cut a girl's hair one night and she wound up with a crew cut.
4. It took me three times to pass my road test for my licenses.
.5. I have a fear of drowning in a car

Tag: Mom and Katy. Sorry these are the only blog friends I have.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Catch Up Time

Since it has been over a month since I have posted anything, I thought it might be time. I guess it is the time of the year, but I always seem to go into super slo-mo around the mid part of October. Even though this is my favorite time of the year, it has always been a sad time of year.

Over the years there have been many family members that have left us during the last three months of the year. This year was no exception. If any of you have read my blog, you know already that I lost my best bud, Gizmo, in October. I still miss him even though it is getting easier. I guess getting another Chihuahua has helped although he is not exactly what I had hoped to get, but Dingo is doing just great. He is so active and mischievious. He is like a little kid except this kid runs and moves like a supersonic jet. No kidding he can turn the burners on.

And this year has been a lot worst than some because of Eddy's situation. True, I know his troubles are mostly of his own doings, but somehow that does not ease the pain that this Mother has in her heart. Regardless of what a child may do, a mother never stops loving them and always wishes the best for them. Unless something changes this will be the first Christmas in his 37 years that we have not been together. I still can remember the first Christmas I missed with my mother. It was no fun at all even though I had Joe and Trina with me. I keep thinking that all things have a reason for happening and that in time I will see that purpose, but until then I can't help but be a bit sad.

It has been sixteen years now since our little elementary school was devastated be a storm and did major damage to parts of the building. I can remember very well the date because it was the day of Trina's bridal shower, November 22, 1992 to be exact. I was working at the school then and we had to close school for the rest of the week. I don't remember how long we had to stay out, but fear not, we made the days up. Again, early this morning at almost the same spot, another storm came through and did major damage again, except this time it was more severe. This time was a tornado, the other time was supposed to be straight-line winds. Regardless, damage has been done, but no lives were lost because of the hours they hit.

I will try to post more regularly from now on. True, I have been very busy. The volunteer "job" has been going into overtime and as always we have been busy on Tuesdays preparing meals for the hospice units and getting gifts ready for the hospice patients as well as the nursing home residents that attend the church services that some of our members have for them every Sunday morning. The Tuesday Morning Sisters are taking a break until after the first of the year so maybe I can catch up and since Christmas and New Year's both fall on Thursday, the gift shop is closed on both of those Fridays. I may become so lazy I never go back to "work." If real work had been this much fun, I would probably never have retired.

Got to go. It is getting close to my bed time.

Catch Up Time

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Today I saw God

I see God everyday, but today was kind of special. You see, I am an autumn person and when that first morning of real chilly weather hits, I am in my element. The sky was (is) a beautiful blue and the trees are beginning to struct their stuff. How can anyone with the ability to see not believe that there exists a being far superior to any one on earth? Who can invent or mix colors that can compare to what He does every fall? This has always been my favorite season for as long as I can remember. I even wrote a poem once about it, but I have no idea where it is now.
Our little "outside" dog is really enjoying it. Her playmates from next door were over here this morning as we left for church and they were having a grand old time. They would run and wrestle all over the yard. Of course if Gizmo was here he would have been right in the middle of the fray except that he would be bossing. I still miss him so very much. That sweet young special lady named Jessi sent us the most beautiful card with a special note added. No one can know what that meant. Especially since Jessi knows what it feels like to have lost a best friend that just happened to have four feet instead of two feet and two hands.
I am closing for now. Got to leave for life group early and go by the grocery to pick up supplies to cook on Tuesday. I will not be able to be there, so I will do the shopping today rather than tomorrow. Joe is having an epidural on Tuesday morning and I was, naturally, elected as the designated driver. The doctor is hoping a couple of epidurals will postpone any surgery for a time. We will see. He was in favor of just doing the surgery and being through with it, but the insurance company doesn't see it that way. Surgery is the last resort with them. Go figure. Seems like it would be less expensive to do the surgery rather than go through two epidurals and then do the surgery. But then the shots are supposed to possibly even not to ever have to have surgery. Time will tell.
Oh, any of my visitors that drop by (except Trina - she always visits) please just sign in and say hello. I would really like to know who is reading my stuff and if you have any comments, good or bad, critical or complimentary, really doesn't matter. May a good comment with some postive critique would help.
Anyway, everybody have a great week.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Little Buddy

Approximately six years ago, a young lady asked if we would puppy-sit her dog for a couple of weeks. We said yes, not knowing what kind or anything. She brought him to us and he was the cutest little red chihuahua named Gizmo. And he was a house dog. Joe had always said dogs belonged in the yard, not in the house. Well, Gizmo moved right in and took up residence. At the end of the two weeks, the young lady was not able to take him back and he became ours. She will never know what a tremendous favor she did for us. Gizmo was indeed a delight and we loved him almost like a child. In fact, he was our child since Trina and Eddy had moved on.

Then three years ago, we became "parents" again. This time it was a rescue and was he pitiful. Every little bone in his body stuck out and he had lost most of the hair on his head. He and his little sister had been locked in a closet and somehow they were found and taken to a vet. A friend of ours heard about it and went to get the little girl, but he could not leave the other one. He brought him to us and Mule became a member of the family. Mule is also a chihuahua except he is what is called a deer-head and Gizmo was an apple-head. They didn't get along too well at first. Gizmo was used to being the only dog on the premises and along comes this little thing and starts acting like he belongs here too.

Then on Sunday, October 5, while they were outside doing their usual morning things, a larger dog from across the road attacked Gizmo. I guess she took on Gizmo because Gizmo was always the barker. We didn't think Giz was hurt very badly, but Joe took him to the vet the next day and had to leave him overnight. I had to leave Sunday afternoon for a four day conference with the hospital volunteers. When I got home Wednesday afternoon, I was really shocked to see how badly he looked. He had stitches on his little back and on his underside. His belly area was all bruised and he walked like he was in real pain. He would not eat but drank water constantly. The vet said the trauma was so great that he probably wouldn't eat for at least 5 to 7 days, but to make sure he got plenty of liquid and his medication.

By bedtime, he wasn't acting like he was getting to feel any better. I fixed his little bed right by our bed (He normally slept with us.) I had cried so much that I could not sleep and it seemed like I was turning the light on every few minutes checking on him. Finally around midnight he was making some odd noised so I got up and saw that he was trying to crawl out of his bed. I picked him up and just sat on the floor holding him. I kept rubbing his little head and talking to him. Joe leaned over the bed and began to massage his back. He was hurt a lot worst than we thought and around 12:30 he just took a couple of breaths and died. I cried and cried, just like I am right now. I miss him so much, but when you have a pet that eats with you, sleeps with you, goes places with you and sits with you while you read or watch TV and this had been going on for over siz years, it hurts and it hurts bad. Littlw Mule is constantly walking around as if he is looking for him. If I am up walking around, Mule is usually right under my feet. Don't tell me dogs don't have feelings and can feel emotions.. If you believe that, then you have never owned a dog.

Joe fixed a little box for him and left his towel wrapped around him. He then put a plastic bag around him. He dug a little grave down under the pines and buried him. My big old manly husband even fixed a styrofoam cup and put three little roses in it.

We plan to get another apple-head when we can find one. We hope to get a red coated one It must have a short snout, little pointed ears and a tail that curls over his back. I know there will never be another Gizmo, but I sure do want something to fill up this big empty hole that is in my heart. Mule needs a little buddy, too.

Little Buddy, if there is a doggie heaven, I know you are running full speed and having a good time. Momma and Daddy and Mule miss you and will always love you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Marty's Meanderings

Well, I finally decided to post something. Not that many people care to read my "meanderings," but after all, this is MY blog and I can post whatever falls on my heart. I do not intentionally post things that offend anyone, but should some of my thoughts clash with yours, I apologize. Isn't it wonderful that we have that privilege? In so many other countries, people have to speak and communicate in code. I have been told this by a lady that did mission work in Taiwan,

Today my main subject has to deal with our other child, Eddy. I haven't said much about him in previous writings. Anyone reading this that knows our family already knows the situation, but for those than are just dropping by I will kind of fill you in. (Who am I kidding? No on drops by my blog. If you do let me know.)

Eddy is 36 years old and is above average according to his school testing scores. The same applies to Trina. However, Eddy has a problem that many people have today, some are able to realize this problem and get help from professionals. Eddy was never diagnosed at an early age and as time progressed his "condition" seemed to escalate. I am in no way excusing his actions or behavior that resulted from this condition. However, I am his mother and I do have feelings for him, as any good mother would.

Eddy was never able to stay as enthused about something after a short while. He would begin a project with great fervor only to loose it after a couple of weeks. This applied to everything except music. His love of the band was very quickly dashed from people that thought athletics was the only way to go. So he abandoned band and took up football. He loved to watch football, but really did not care to play that much.

He finally got through with high school and enrolled in drafting and design technology for the fall at what was then Walker State. But shortly after graduation, he drove to the Dallas area to visit his half-brother for a couple of weeks. He made this trip alone there and back quite successfully. He had been home only about ten days when he was out on a Saturday night with guys he should not have been with. He was late coming home and Joe became very upset and got up to lock the doors and turn off the lights. Not too much later, the phone rang and it was the hospital. There had been a wreck and Eddy was in the emergency room. We were told he was being transferred to UAB and to go immediately to the ER over there. We decided to stop at the ER in Jasper and found him there. He had a very badly broken leg, cuts on his mouth and ear and a deep open wound on his leg that we did not find out about for a few days. Thus began a long summer of long days at UAB, Jefferson Towers West. He was over there from July 15 (in the wee hours of that morning) until August 24. He underwent numerous surgeries and many nights and days of pain. He was on high doses of medication during the whole time, some of it strong medication for pain. Even after getting him home, things were not over. We had home health for several weeks and I was taught to re-dress the wound every day. He had several skin grafts and other surgeries on it at later times. Now after 18 years that wound still bothers him. The broken leg required a plate and 12 screws to get it back in place, but these were taken out later thinking they might be the cause of the continued infections at the wound site.

Fast forward about 4 years. Eddy meets and marries a sweet young lady with a 4 year old daughter that we immediately fell in love with. He seemed happy for a time and then in late 95 things began to go down hill. Kim finally had taken as much as she could and in July 96 she divorced him. We still stay in touch though.

It seems that Eddy was asked to try some drugs. Being the person he is, he finally did and thought no big deal. However, the damage was done and so begins the years of frustration, damage, run ins with the local law enforcement, alienation from family and friends. The typical scenario associated with drug problems. Joe and I searched high and low for help. Unfortunately, we live in a county where there is no help. We kept trying everything from having him arrested, putting him in rehabs, and more jail and more rehabs. Still no improvements.

We did find out one thing during all this. Drug addiction is a viable medical disease. Hold on to your seat, but according to the AMA that is their finding and not only that, but the preponderance for drug/alcohol addiction can be inherited. Who would have believed? That is something a lot of the do gooders don't want to accept. That still does not excuse, but it does help explain it more.

It is a strange thing to me, but if a person is diagnosed with a socially acceptable disease (cancer, heart, TB, even HIV/Aids) people will rally round to offer all kinds of help, but if you are diagnosed with a socially unacceptable disease (addiction, alcoholism, etc) there is no help. The family is left to battle it alone. The very people that you think would and should help like the mental health department will just shun you away when they find out drugs/alcohol is involved. They do not want to look at the underlying causes such as bipolar disorder, ADD, depression, which they are supposed to deal with.

I guess I have just about bored those that may have started reading this. I had done a post earlier about Trina when someone wanted to belittle her for being a childless teacher. They are not supposed to be able to adequately relate to students therefore not be able to adequately teach them. So today I thought I would give equal time to Eddy. I just wanted the world to know that he is not the monster that most people around here want him to be. He just chose some wrong roads to go down and took some of us with him as far as our time and finances are concerned. He is still my son and even though I hate the life style that he was in I loved HIM the same. I did not care for him nine months prior to his birth just to throw him away.

I pray daily for both my children. And I know God will look over them. I just pray that time will be on their side and that life will deal kindly with both of them and their lives will be both fulfilling and spent in His service.

Life is short and we should each make the most of each day. I try, but I know I fall short at times. Don't we all? As long as we walk this earth and live a human existence we will make mistakes. The biggest mistake is not admitting you have made that mistake.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm one tired woman

Today has been a typical Monday. My plans were to clean the house, but when I got home from life group last night, I had a pile of peas to shell. And not one but 3 gallons of scuppernong grapes. That shot down cleaning. Anyway, I had some washing that had to be done, so I got that started. Since I had shelled the peas last night, I got them on the stove. I washed the scuppernongs and put them on the stove. It took my huge stainless steel bowl plus my dutch oven. I had to watch them and keep them down low to keep them from sticking. The bottom line is that I got the washing done, got a country supper cooked and now have over a gallon of juice ready to turn into jelly. That will involve most of a day, but I know this winter it will be nice to just open a jar of my home-made jelly rather than paying for it at the store. Joe says there will be some muscadines too. As Rachel Ray says, "Yum-O."

I attended Ma Pounds Black's services on Friday. It was an amazing celebration of an amazing woman's life. There were four ministers that helped conduct the services and at least four or five in the audience. The family made up the better part of the audience. At one point, one of the ministers referred to them as a tribe. That was pretty fitting since there is the Cherokee connection. Her presence will be missed, but she will live on in the many lives she has touched over her 93 years. She would have turned 94 on the 29th of this month.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful church family. Several years ago, I was talking to one of my "sisters" Kathy Walker about how I didn't have any grandchildren close enough to see very often. She said I could just adopt her two, Sally and Christian. They are super kids, too. I told her that would be just fine. I thought that would be the end of that, but since then they never forget my birthday, mother's day, Christmas, Easter and even Grandparent's Day. They met me in the parking lot yesterday with a gift bag. Do you want to know what was in it? OK, I'll tell you - a big fat slab of home-made peanut butter fudge. Oh my goodness, it is soooo gooood. How lucky I am to be associated with such loving, caring and giving people. I know this has to be a minute glimpse of what heaven will be like. Kathy is great to just talk to when I need it. And of course, everybody knows how I feel about my Tuesday Morning Sisters. It is bad to say, but I am closer to them than I am my own sister. I do love Pam, but we just travel on different tracks through life. And I know she would be here in a heart beat if I called and said I needed her.

We have our fall "Cup of Cool Water" project underway. We are buying diapers for Childhaven.

Since I am about nasty, I think a good hot shower is in order and then it will be lap time for my little buddies, Gizmo and Mule. Poor Mule has something wrong with one of his eyes. Looks like he may have a cold settled in it. Pam at the vet's office said to flush it out with some artificial tears. I'll try that and then if it doesn't clear up it will be time to go see the doggy doctor. Dr. Cain is just a great vet. He is so kind and considerate.

Have a great week or day or whatever time span you choose to be in.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Legend Goes Home

On Tuesday, September 2, 2008, Gracie Lois Tuggle Pounds Black lay her earthly cloak aside and entered into that heavenly realm that is provided for all of God's saints.

"Ma Pounds" as she was so lovingly called by everyone that knew her was a woman of the earth. She could take nothing, a cast off from someone else, and make something very useful. I guess she was a pioneer in the field of recycling.

There are probably thousands upon thousands of now grown children that have sat under the trees at Indian Creek Youth Camp south of Oakman and listened as she brought to life the events and peoples of the Bible. And add those same chldren to the number that she taught to swim either in the creek or the swimming pool, once there was enough money to build one.

Ma Pounds was of Cherokee descent and it was very evident in her physical features. She had that beautiful dark hair and eyes and those lovely high cheek bones. Her heritage could probably account for her ability to make something of nothing. It is said she even whittled her own crochet hooks.

I knew of Ma Pounds reputation long before I ever met one of her daughters-in-law. Judi was a young lady from the Chicago area that was introduced to Wheeler Pounds by an Alabamian that was living up there. It seems that the love bug bit them both. Judi married Wheeler and he promptly brought her south and began the process of making a southern of her. The house they live in was constructed largely by them. It was only recently that the roof was replaced. They had covered the house originally with hand cut shakes.

Judi and I became acquainted when she began volunteering at the school. It was as if we were supposed to friends and now some thirty years lately we are very close to each other.

Wheeler is currently in Russia on a teaching mission. He and the other siblings talked to their mother before he left about his going. She assured all of them that he should go and when asked what she wanted him to teach while there, she quickly said, "The truth." With that said she closed her eyes and never waked again.

The entire Pounds family is a very devoted Christian family. Their father, Bro. J.G. Pounds preached around Walker County and various parts of the south until age prevented it. After he passed away, Ma married Mr. Black who was equally as devoted to God as she was.

I dare say there are not many people in Walker County, Alabama and parts of the south that have not heard of the Pounds family, especially those among the brotherhood of the churches of Christ.

Ma Pounds will be missed, because her earthly self will no longer be around. Ma Pounds is now free of the terrible pain she had in her legs and will be able to walk unaided and be joined with the other saints.

My sympathy pours out to all her family. She was a good wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt and friend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Catch Up Time

It seems I cannot get my act together. I have good intentions of posting and then on the way to the computer something gets in the way. I think my area of focusing has about gone out the window.

We had our homecoming at church on the 24th of August. It was really a wonderful day especially since the official ground breaking for the addition to the building took place. All the kids (and some "big" kids) were given Bob the Builder hard hats to commerate the day. There was a phrase on them about this building project being for their future. Someone laughingly said, "And the payments, too."

That week was also doctor check up week. On Monday was a visit to the dentist for teeth cleaning, Tuesday was my visit to the cancer center to see my hemotologist, Wednesday was my check up with my primary care physician. Got a good report from Dr. Cummings (dentist); Dr. Hamilton (hemotologist) ordered a Procrit and said my counts were OK and to come back in 2 weeks; Dr. Barton (primary doctor) gave me a good report also. I hope that about winds things up except for the visits to get my blood work done every two weeks.

We had a wonderful ladies' class yesterday. Our numbers continue to grow and that is very exciting to all of us. We had 12 there yesterday with 3 absent and 3 they only come during the fall seasons. Our hospice cooking is sort of caught up at least for a week or so. That always fluctuates depending on the census of each unit. Now we are into our fall Childhaven project which is to furnish diapers and baby wipes for the Genesis project. This consists of 3 homes that house 4 teen age girls each. These girls are unwed mothers-to-be/mothers. They receive medical care, counseling, additional schooling if needed and day care for the babies. Some girls that don't go to school go to work. It is a wonderful work. Of course, we will naturally have lunch while in Cullman. Let me see, just where would we want to share a meal? Anyone ever heard of the All Steak and their famous orange rolls? We just might have to try that.

Monday night Joe and I made a trip to the funeral home. Trina's best friend during high school, Debbie, had called on Sunday and said her Granny Taff had died. Mr. & Mrs. Taff both lived up on the hill for a long time. She was rather old, but since Debbie had always been a part of our family for so many years and Jo and Ed have lived next door for as along as we have been here.

It is strange but when you go to a visitation like that it usually ends up being sort of a reunion. Debbie and I talked for a long time. She was in Italy back in the spring to visit her son as he graduated from high school. He is currently in basic training with the Air Force in Texas. She gave me one of his graduation pictures. I am posting it below.

Marcus has really made a handsome young man.

I know Debbie is extremely proud of him. It is wonderful that she and Charlie can be friends after all these years. She and I are having lunch sometime before she leaves, I hope. She wants to show me her Italy pictures.

This just about catches me up for now. That is not to say my "projects" are caught up. They just seem to do like rabbits - multiply, multiply, multiply. And since I have been elected historian of the volunteers at the hospital that means another project. Oh well. I guess I could always so "NO," but that's no fun. I got my 500 hundred hour pin yesterday. I made my goal of 500 hours in under two years. Now on to the next level.

Have a great day, World.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Memorial Day, 2008

I know Memorial Day was almost three months ago, but since I was not blogging at that time I could not very well tell about the wonderful day we all had in Oakman. The weather was a little iffy. Rain was threatening most of the day. A bank of clouds would roll in, the wind would pick up and we all wondering what would happen if it did rain. However, the sun would come back out and the breeze had cooled the air down somewhat.

Anyway, to the event of the day. It would probably be a good idea to go back about a year or so and bring everyone up to date on how this day came to be. It seems a couple of high school boys in the agribusiness class came up with the idea to make a monument to the veterans from Oakman that had been killed in war. They thought they could construct it out of some good grade of plywood and it would do for some years. Some other people heard about the project and minds began to come together, primarily from veterans.

The first meeting was held in the latter part of the summer 2007 and things began to roll in a hurry. Some of the men got together (once the site was located and approved) and began to cut some trees, have the stumps ground up and then the site prep started. There was grading to do, leveling to do, water lines run, electricity put in and the list went on and on. As other people in the town saw the work going on, the talk picked up. Soon others helped and the donations began to come in the the school or some of the men.

Now mind you, these veterans were not going to settle with just a plywood board. No sir. These men wanted something that would last years after they were gone and children not yet born could see. They designed a park that was patterned after one that is being built in East Tennessee. This one is no where as large as that one will be, but it is just as impressive.

There is an all-weather flag that flys 24/7 and it is lighted at night. Behind that are four monuments, one for each of the wars - WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Fortunately, so far we have not lost anyone to the Iraqi conflict. On each of these markers are listed the men from Oakman that gave their lives in each of these wars. Directly behind and to the middle of these is the Freedom Tower. It is an obelisk with each of the four freedoms we are privileged to have - freedom of religion, freedom of want, freedom from fear and freedom of speech. Behind the Freedom Tower is the monument dedicated to all veterans both living and dead whether death came as a result of the war or from natural causes. At the base of this monument around all sides are brick pavers that have been bought either in memory of or in honor of these veterans. This part is an on going project.

The agribusiness class has taken the upkeep of the park as their project. They will maintain the shrubbery, grass and flowers. The Beta Club members wrote statements in tribute to these veterans and to our heritage as Americans. These statements are placed on the back of each of the front markers, on all four sides of the Tower, on front and back of the Veteran's marker. Placed on the retaining wall are several more markers all containing statements from these students.

Finally, May 26th came and a great turn out of several hundred people came. The high school band provided patriotic music, The FFA officers led the Pledge, the Honor Guard presented a 21 gun salute, taps was played, a student sang the National Anthem accompanied by the band and we had speakers by some very prominent people. Among these were Mr. Julian Davidson, a graduate of Oakman High School who has a building name in his honor at the Flight Center in Huntsville. The key note speaker was Major General Alice Astefan (ret.), also a graduate of Oakman, one of seven children from the same family that all served in the military and at one time the highest ranking female in all the branches of the military. And who said small, rural high school can not produce high quality graduates?

Mr. Davidson made a statement that really brought it all home to the people that had worked so hard on this project. He said that he lived in Huntsville, a city probably at least 50 times as large as Oakman and they did not have anything there to compare to this.

I guess I was the proudest when my husband and a veteran was asked to do most of the speaking for the day as to explaining the various aspects of the park. He did such a wonderful job and received many compliments for it.

Oh, by the way, the rain did come but it was after everything was all over.

Even today there are people stopping to look at the monuments. A young man was passing the park on the day of the dedication and stopped to see it. He had just recently returned from deployment to Iraq. Those that were there and saw him said that as he walked around viewing everything that he just broke down and cried. Isn't that what it's all about? We can never let our men and women not know how much their sacrifices mean, even if we oppose the war(s).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"I'll Defend Her to the End . . ."

No, I am not talking about Lee Greenwood's all time classic hit about the U.S.A. The words fit for me as a mother.  Having grown up in the country where there were many types of animals and fowl, I am familiar with the way some of them respond to their young.  The mother hen will flog you in a heart beat if you go near her young, otherwise known as "biddies."  Most animals are protective of their young, but we animals, human beings, are even more so. 
As most of you may know I, or rather Joe and I, have two childrenm both grown now. That fact does not deter me from coming to their side if I feel the need.  Anytime anyone, including family or friends, make either of my kids unhappy, I am unhappy.  
When I talk to either of them I can tell by their demeanor what they feel like, usually.  And today when I talked with my daughter she was crying!! To a mother that is very unacceptable behavior especially when she is crying because of the actions of some other person.  I was about to put my on "flogging" outfit.  
She is a very soft hearted person and very compassionate about things, but when some one begins to throw slurs at her and then she tries to defend herself only to be made to appear as if she is all wrong, it hurts.  She has tried to put this behind her but to no avail.  She has even accepted responsibility for whatever she did that may have appeared out of line.  Let's all face it.  NO ONE is perfect that walks on the big orb.  He that was is not longer walking here. EVERYONE is subject to making mistakes and misjudgements.  That is part of being a human.  That person that thinks they are immune to mistakes made their first one when they made such an implication.
I have said my say and am now burying this whole matter.  I only hope that my daughter can find peace and once more be herself.  She has tried to forget, but has not been successful.  My prays are for her every day.  And I know in time she will overcome.  I hope others will do the same.
I've spoken about our daughter.  The same holds true for our son.  And it is common knowlege, especially around here, that he has tested the waters quite frequently, but I can remember many times while still in school some of the scorn he was put through because he chose to be a musician rather than an athlete.  So much so that at one point he even gave band to be on the football team.  Did that help?  No!!  He then had to suffer the scorn of doing as the others to only wind up sitting on the bench.  This was not the only time things like this happened, but that hurt me just as much as it did him.  This does not excuse his actions over the last few years, but you wonder if things like that might not have led to his problem by him trying to "fit in."  Only he knows, but believe you me, If I ever find out who was responsible for the beginning of his problem, this mother hen will reinvent the flogging outfit.  
As Minnie Pearl used to say on "Hee Haw."  "We're through playing now."  I am through venting now.  

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Parent's Dreams for Me

It is funny how somethings come to your mind out of nowhere. That happened to me recently. I can remember that my parents had dreams for me as an adult. For some reason Daddy wanted me to be a teacher and Mother wanted me to be a nurse. I never actually became either of those, but to some degree I have fulfilled their dreams for me.

Even though I did not become a teacher I did begin in that direction. When I entered college that was my goal; however, as so often happens, that just did not work out for me. I completed my first two years at the local junior college and was all ready to transfer to the University of Alabama. This was in 1963 and we all know the unrest in the colleges at that time. Anyway for whatever reason, I went to Mother and asked her if she would care if I didn't leave that day for the University. Now mind you, clothes were packed, dorm room attained, classes planned, the whole bit, but I just could not leave. Mother could not understand why, but she knew me well enough that she consented for me to "delay" the rest of my college career. Now looking back I realize that God had a reason for me not going. In just a few short weeks an event happened in our lives that was totally unexpected.

I had gotten a part-time job after deciding not to leave and since we were a one car family then (everybody was back then) I had to ride to work with Daddy. This particular day I only worked half a day, but when I got home Mother was waiting and told me to go back and get Daddy. He had gotten sick and needed to come home and go to the doctor. As soon as we got back Mother took him to the doctor who wanted him to go to the VA hospital, but Daddy refused saying he had work that had to go out. A side note here: Daddy was a dental technician and was paid strictly on commission - no work, no pay. So the doctor settled for him to go home and straight to bed. Daddy did that and we thought he would be OK after some rest. I went over to some friends house to play Canasta, but when I went by Grandmother's to get my sister she said to get back to the house immediately. When I did I found out Daddy had died. My world fell apart as did Mother's and my brothers and sister. Those were some of the longest days of my life. I would not sleep at night and when I did I had the most awful real-like dreams. I never told anyone and in the process I lost about twenty pounds in just a matter of three months. Anyway, that was the reason I did not leave that Sunday afternoon for Tuscaloosa. I just did not know it then.

As far as becoming a nurse. Forget it. I couldn't stand to see anyone else get sick and didn't like the sight of my own blood and forget it if someone had to have a shot. So in my mind that was not even an option.

Fast forward several years. In 1968 my high school counselor had gone to work in the central office of the local board of education and they had an opening for a clerk. He asked if I was interested and I took it. This was just a great chance to advance. Then in October Joe and I got married and he left for Ft. Eustis, VA. for his duty station. I would go up when he got base housing. That happened in February. I resigned my job and Trina and I move off to Virginia. I forgot to say that Trina was my child from a previous marriage and she was part of the package deal, to which Joe quickly agreed. We had our own little government apartment and it was so beautiful. We only stayed there until August when Joe was deployed, again, for Vietnam. Here we go back to Alabama. After that year it was off to South Carolina for a few months and then Joe was assigned to recruiting duty in Tuscaloosa. Then fourteen months later he was transferred to the recruiting office in Jasper and there he stayed until retirement. While in T'town we had our son.

In 1975 I decided to go back to work and found a job in payroll at the local board of education. This began my career in education. From there I went to the school where I had attended and the children were now attending. I stayed there until June 2000 when I retired after 25 years. So even though I didn't teach I did work in education and in my own way, I feel I impacted a lot of young lives. Daddy's dream was fulfilled.

After retirement, I got busy in other things. I began attending the ladies' Bible class on Tuesday morning and always had a good day with the other "girls." Over time this day evolved into a work day as our group began to do volunteer work for one of the hospice units. We would cook, package and freeze meals that the nurses would deliver to the patients and their families. This was not because the families could not afford the food, but because often times the care givers were so tired they just did not feel up to cooking. For whatever reasons, they got food. This has now grown to doing meals for not just one but two units. So rewarding.

Then in 2007 I decided to do volunteer work with the auxiliary at the hospital, the same hsopital that Mother has retired from in the late 80's. I was put in the gift shop and soon found myself eagerly awaiting Fridays. Then it hit me one day that even though I did not become a nurse I was "working" around a hospital. Our pay is not much (lunch on the days we work), but the rewards are worth more than any paycheck. So Mother, in a way, your dream has been fulfilled. I told my supervisor one day that when I put on my white pants, shoes, and blouse and then put on my pink smock and walk down the halls, I feel like I am walking in Mother's footsteps.

I am a rambling type of writing, so if you happen to stop by my blog and it looks like you have picked up a novel, fear not, it is I. I have always loved to write and even at one time considered journalism.

I hope the day has been good for you and that this week you will find a blessing in your life.