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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas 2015

​So there’s this family I know, & they’re not normal.  Allow me to explain.  I’m scrolling through all the pictures of smiling faces & homemade cookies & well wishes on Christmas Day. Being as that I have no children to clean up after, I had a fairly relaxing day & could spend it mindlessly trolling the internet, looking at y’alls madness & mayhem.  I got to a picture of a home I know, a home I’ve visited, a home that belongs to a family I love.  In the picture was a modest tree, decorated with traditional colored lights & homemade ornaments, nothing flashy or showy about it. The tree sat on warm hardwood floors, polished to a shine. Nearby, perched on a low table, was a glass of milk & a plate of cookies. Other pictures revealed stockings hung on the chimney (with care, I imagine). The pictures themselves weren’t perfect, either, kinda blurry. Nothing was staged. But it was perfect in my eyes.  I looked closer. And I saw something there. Or rather, a lack of something. Underneath the tree were just a few presents. Maybe six. Maybe there were a few more that didn’t make it in the frame. I was puzzled. Houses with children are usually overrun with presents. Even here, Johnny & I are terrible & have all of ours under the big tree in the living…

Blessings Abound

​I hear a lot of people dreading Christmas, hating Christmas, saying the gift giving isn’t what it’s about. And while that’s true, I hope these people realize that getting back to the true meaning of Christmas starts within yourself. I hope that they pick a child off the Angel Tree, or volunteer with a Food Pantry, or some other selfless act. It WILL change your heart.  Last week at work, this couple came up to the counter, inquiring about a discount if they bought several pairs of boots. They said six pairs.  So we offered them the same discount we had on Black Friday, including 50% off our closeouts, which are already marked down.  They bought fourteen pairs. They were at the counter for awhile, as you can imagine, as we were checking sizes & whatnot. They explained what they were doing. They were from North Carolina & it all started four years ago. A few members in their church are teachers & brought up the subject of a few of the underprivledged children in the community. These teachers had an inkling that some students weren’t getting anything to eat over the weekend. They thought the only food these children received was at school. So it came about that the church was making up sack lunches for these kids to take home over the weekend. It wasn’t much, like a can of soup or a sandwich, some…

My Big Gig

Guess what? No, I didn’t hit the lottery. Y’all goobers really think I’d post it like this? No. You’d see a picture of me with my toes in the sand & a drink my hand. Guess what? Guess who your newest blogger for Sevier County Public Library System is? ME!!!! *picture me holding my arms out, head tilted towards the sun that is shining directly on me, much like a spotlight, eyes squinched shut, spinning* Miss Rhonda pitched a reading challenge at me last week & it was 40 books. Combined with our one a month for book club, that makes 52, which is perfect because my goal is one a week. So she said since I basically write a review on Goodreads anyway, would I care if they shared it on the library’s media sites?  Well, heck no!!!  So, that’s the gist of it. The way I understood it, anyway. Follow me! Follow me! I’ll be harping along as usual.  P.s. Coming home tonight, I stopped for supper to bring home. Most women my age have children, & when traveling, if they have to slam on the brakes, they instinctively reach an arm across their kid’s chest. You know, like a backup seatbelt. Me, I sling an arm across my bag of food to prevent it from hitting the floor. Priorities…

I’ve Got A Song In Me

I hear songs in my head all the time. I’m sure many of you do. Different circumstances provoke a line or two. If in conversation someone says a familiar phrase, it’s sure to remind me of some song that was popular ten or twenty years ago. For instance, Yankee & I were standing at the counter several weeks ago, & one of our regulars walks up with a part in his hand. We both greet him & reach for it simultaneously. He waffles between us, shuffling from one foot to the other, indecisive. “I guess I’m just gonna dance,” he laughs at himself.  “You can dance if you want to,” Yanked tells him innocently. She’s only 21. Me, on the other hand…I immediately burst into song. “You can leave your friends behind. Cause if your friends don’t dance then they’re no friends of mine,” I sang, hopping around in accompaniment. (Sometimes you get more than you were shopping for at the Co-op. Sometimes you get a song AND dance for FREE). Anyway, I haven’t worn my wedding rings all week, except for a few hours yesterday, & my ring finger still has a smooth, pinkish colored indention. They’re not too small, they’re just snug enough not to slip off when my hands are wet. I guess it’s just because I…

Come As a Customer, Leave as a Friend

I used to really like shopping. It didn’t matter what for… shoes, fishing tackle, rugs, groceries, books, shirts, horse tack, whatever. But that all changed a few years ago. I can’t really pinpoint when it was, but now if I can’t get it from Co-op or Sam’s Club, it comes from Amazon. I just don’t do crowds or digging through crap. But in 2012, when I was shopping for bridesmaid gifts, I wanted to get each of my girls a present that was as individual as they were. No matchy-matchy necklaces for them. This proved to be no small feat. I was in downtown Sevierville, I think on my way back from the post office, when the cute little boutique in the old white farmhouse caught my eye. I’d been meaning to stop since it was the Common Good but just never got around to it. I was down to the last few days before the wedding and grasping at straws for a few of my girls. I had nothing to lose. I whipped in. I opened the back door hesitantly. “Welcome to Loralei’s!” A red haired girl behind the counter greeted me warmly. I returned her smile. Before I could help myself, I was telling her how I’d thought about stopping a hundred times but never had an opportunity. I was gazing at all the shiny baubles that…

Purpose Driven Life

We all serve a purpose. For some of us, it’s something dignified, like, you’re the voice of reason in a family crisis. You don’t take sides. Or you’re the one who gives out advice on retirement in your family without having to consult the aloof bank people. Or you’re a healer of sorts, with your special teas and ointments. Whatever it may be.  For ages, people called me when they saw horse loose within a ten mile radius of my house. Everybody knew I had horses because I was forever out front riding them. Those days, for the most part, have passed.  Then came the confusing phone calls from friends who had too much to drink and knew I was home, sober, tight in my bed, because I had a job that required my presence early in the morning. I was the responsible, dependable one for a long time. Then came the calls that I was paid to take, not really expected, mind you, but the ones with true emergencies: car wrecks, fires, seizures. Lord, at the seizures.  I had a friend who called me once, freaking out because her baby was coming early. I was at a loss, no checklist chart in front of me, instead, enjoying a sunny summer afternoon tending my flowerbeds. But I got her through it, talked her down as she drove her panicked self to the hospital.  Not two years…

Dividing Time

December 7th, 2015 A much different day than December 7th, 1941.  As I type this, I hear the distinct hum of an airplane flying over my house. That’s a bit unnerving. I’ll admit, growing up, Pearl Harbor Day was just another bit of history, another date I was supposed to remember & give observance to. Like Columbus Day, or Washington’s birthday. But, September 11th, 2001 changed the way I feel about it.  I was 22 years old & hadn’t seen much of life. I certainly hadn’t known fear of flying or traveling in general. I hadn’t been scared to drive home, afraid of what I might see, or what I could run into. I hadn’t ever wanted to stay at work, to simply be in the company of other familiar people before. I hadn’t ever wanted to watch the news to learn of something beyond my line of vision, to prepare myself for the evil that was no longer lurking, but actively seeking to destroy life as we knew it.  1941 was 38 years before I was born. So it’s sometimes hard to understand why we should hold this day in reverence. But then I think of September 11th & remember. And I think to all the people I know, that were alive on that day we were attacked, but how few memories they retain. My primary emotion when…

Reflecting on Pearl Harbor Day

December 7th, 2015 A much different day than December 7th, 1941. As I type this, I hear the distinct hum of an airplane flying over my house. That’s a bit unnerving. I’ll admit, growing up, Pearl Harbor Day was just another bit of history, another date I was supposed to remember & give observance to. Like Columbus Day, or Washington’s birthday. But, September 11th, 2001 changed the way I feel about it. I was 22 years old & hadn’t seen much of life. I certainly hadn’t known fear of flying or traveling in general. I hadn’t been scared to drive home, afraid of what I might see, or what I could run into. I hadn’t ever wanted to stay at work, to simply be in the company of other familiar people before. I hadn’t ever wanted to watch the news to learn of something beyond my line of vision, to prepare myself for the evil that was no longer lurking, but actively seeking to destroy life as we knew it. 1941 was 38 years before I was born. So it’s sometimes hard to understand why we should hold this day in reverence. But then I think of September 11th & remember. And I think to all the people I know, that were alive on that day we were attacked, but how few memories they retain. My primary emotion when thinking back on…

Co-op Christmas

Our big shindig for the Co-op was last night. We’re a pretty mild sort, but we always manage to have a good time. I really wasn’t sold on going this year, as it was on my day off & I like to hermit up, but J enjoys it more than me. He says we’re “a good crowd”. He doesn’t see everybody daily like I do, so I put our names on the list. Just about everyone always shows up. And we all try to dress up, even if it’s just our best boots, jeans, & a button up or sweater. Last night was no exception.  In the past, we’ve had our picture taken (by yours truly) in front of the Christmas tree wherever we were, played a game, sang a song, or just had general merriment & fellowship. We have had our annual get together in several locations over the years, from the back room at Golden Corral, to Cowboys on the lake, to the Legion building, to River Plantation’s meeting hall, to right here at the Co-op. We’ve been so poor some years that the Christmas dinner has been a potluck. And that’s ok. The food isn’t what’s important. The catching up with your coworkers about non-related Co-op stuff is what counts. And to see their families growing. I remember the year of our renovation; we didn’t really even have a Christmas…