this is a page for

Monthly Archives: December 2017

Good Tidings

Have you ever just taken a moment and thought about how fortunate you are? One of those times where the North Star is beaming down directly on you and everyone around smiles your way and for a little while everything seems right in your world?  Well, tonight I had such an epiphany.  I don’t write about my new work often, partly because there’s not much to write about; I rarely have much interaction with customers. But also I don’t write because I like my job and don’t want to jinx myself. And I guess calling it new after a year and a half is ridiculous, but it’s hard to not think of it that way. When I came onboard, I was unsure. I was scared as a rabbit looking at a pack of coyotes. I didn’t know anybody, I was in a part of town I didn’t frequent, and I was out of my comfort zone working in an office environment. But I didn’t quit, even though I wanted to. I came back every day because I’d made my mind up to, and because it felt like it would be a good gig if I could ever get used to it. I was terrified of the guys, they were all big and kinda scary looking with their tattoos, cigarettes, beards, and low, gravelly voices. They drove trucks that always needed…

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Good things today:  My sweet friend Lori made me lunch. Corn chowder, cornbread, bacon wrapped chestnuts (have you ever had a bacon wrapped chestnut??? Holy crap. It’s an experience I would like to repeat very soon. Like maybe right now.), red velvet cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, and white chocolate cranberry cookies. I was cold and it warmed me from the inside out instantly.  I got mermaid mail from my sweet friend Donna. She shouldn’t have. But look who is right at home:  The Goonies is on. I do love me some Goonies.  Bad things: We had waterline woes at work today. It was all I could do not to bang my head against my desk. On second thought, maybe I did. My forehead is a little sore.  I got home and started making dinner- boiling potatoes for mashed taters and decided to turn my crock pot back on to warm. I peek in and notice that things don’t look just right. I raise the lid, give the pork chops a poke, and realize I never turned it on. I guess in my rush this morning I left out a crucial step. This made me crazy mad, as I had purposely pulled out my oldest crockpot for the express reason it cooks the slowest and I didn’t want them to get overdone and dried out. I’ve not got one of those fancy ones on a timer…

Sticky Tape

December Writing Challenge Day 10 (Day 40) Sticky tape.  =something I lose more than scissors when wrapping gifts. There is a drinking game based on this very thing. I played it one year and was sloshed in less than two hours. I buy the big packs at Sam’s and just lay a roll on every surface. That helps quite a bit. But what would we do without it? What would we do without a lot of things?  I used to be an expert tape peeler in my younger days. But mom was on to me and began double wrapping stuff in different boxes. I wasn’t brave enough to unwrap it all the way, just a corner to see what was in there. I don’t know why I couldn’t wait. I’m a little better now. I haven’t went snooping in years.  Have you ever thought that sticky tape would be highly incriminating if people could figure out how to lift your fingerprint from it? I think about that every time I mail something at work, because I am not about to lick a nasty envelope. Shoo. Who even does that these days?  Well. I guess this exhausts my thoughts on tape. Thanks for reading my mundane ramblings. There are better articles here, I assure you.&nbsp…

The Funeral of Joe Woods

Deep breath. Where do I begin? “Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” ~Lewis Carrol, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  I will apologize in advance to my long time readers, for I will have to repeat stories most of you all have heard before to get this all told. So let me begin by introducing you to Joe Woods. This is a little piece I wrote on him a couple of years ago for the store’s Facebook page. It paints a more descriptive picture than his concise obituary (not that there’s anything wrong with his obituary, the family is grieving and has their hands full) MEET YOUR CO-OP!! This week is the 3rd edition, & we couldn’t pick a more iconic figure than Joe Woods. I sat down with Joe around 10:30 this morning. Well, “cornered” would be a more appropriate term. He is always in high demand. I was able to extract some facts about his life over the next 45 minutes, between customers stopping by to chat and tell him how good it is to see him. Joe was born & raised in West Tennessee, not the land of milk & honey, but of cotton & pit barbeque. Joe has never been satisfied with what passes for barbeque on this end of the state. He graduated high school in 1944, and was…

I Hate Christmas

December Writing Challenge Day 7 Really Day 37 I hate Christmas.  Well, there are three words I never thought I’d write. Because I don’t. At all. Oh sure, it’s hard to find the real meaning in the hordes of shoppers at the mall, or while being cut off in traffic on your way to the company Christmas party.  But you just have to put a little extra love in your heart and assume that these people making you crazy have had a hard life and weren’t shown the Lord’s way.  And dontcha know the people who seem determined to chip away at your faith and drag you down in their misery are the people without Jesus. They’re jealous that Christians have eternal hope. They don’t know it’s okay for us to be imperfect, a Saviour was sent for that purpose. So we just have to press on and try to set an example by being our very best selves. That’s what Christmas is about. And carrying it in our hearts all the year long.&nbsp…

The Mystery Gift

December Writing Challenge Day 6 (Day 36) The mystery gift.  We’ve all been given something we didn’t ask for. Usually in my case it’s advice. In Chevy Chase’s Christmas, it was Aunt Edna’s jell-o mold, complete with cat food. The Secret Santa game has become wildly popular in recent years, and my favorite is always gag gifts for several reasons. #1) you don’t have to put a lot of thought into it. Just buy something fun. #2) you don’t have to worry about buying something everyone will like-that’s not the point! #3) I like to laugh. The harder the better. Preferably until my sides hurt and I’m crying.  I have never been involved with the Secret Sisters group that circulates this time of year. I need no added stress in my life. I’m anxious enough without wondering if my gift was well received. Or shopping for something without going over budget. It’s agonizing enough trying to find the perfect gift for family and friends.  Don’t make a mystery gift. It stresses people out. Wrap up some homemade peanut butter cookies and clearly label them. It need not be fancy. A zip lock bag inside a plain brown paper one will be as appreciated as anything I know.&nbsp…

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

My oldest friend turned 91 this past July. This is a picture from his 90th birthday. Joe Woods was super intimidating when I went to work for the Co-op in 2001. He seemed gruff, no-nonsense, and had the demeanor of the remarkably smart. For someone as wet behind the ears as I was, the best I could hope for was to stay out of the way. But as you all know, Joe is none of the above, other than the exceptionally smart part. He loves nothing better than a good joke-as long as it’s not on him. He helped me approximately 14,788,923 times during my years there. He probably repeated everything he told me at least twice. I still can’t tell you how to kill duckweed in your pond without killing your fish. I do know that you better put the lime to your garden and water in the morning if you don’t want your tomatoes to get “the rot”. I also learned to never, ever, ever ride with him, even if it’s just to Frank Allen’s. I depended on Joe daily, and I never thought twice about calling his cell phone if he was gone to the post office or “checking on some corn” out in Wears Valley. That’s why he gave it to me. And I was his IT person. This meant I showed him how…

The Remote’s Gone

December Writing Challenge Day 5 (Day 35) The remote’s gone.  We thought the remote had taken a dive this weekend. It’s only about 20 years old, the one I’m talking about. It goes with the surround sound system. All the words are worn off so I just use the buttons on the device. The remote has a bazillion more that I don’t know what in the world it could possibly be controlling, so it’s just safer all the way around if I avoid it at all costs. But it was fine, the batteries had just corroded. Isn’t that strange that it was still working fine until the last few days?  Scenario 2: My uncle has a sometimes ghost. He hasn’t been bothered by the ghost since moving to the cabin, but at the old house the ghost was as much as an inhabitant as him or Aunt Bren. He frequently stole/ moved several objects, including the remote. So to hear things like, “The remote’s gone,” and the prompt response of “the ghost has got it,” was not in the least unusual in their house. No worries, he frequently returned whatever he took the day you stopped looking for it. But they’ve moved out on the ghost, and he now haunts The Puerto Rican on a Stick.&nbsp…

Star

December Writing Challenge Day 4 (Day 34) Star.  Neil Gaimon writes in Stardust that a star is a person until it falls to Earth. His take is very interesting, and I strongly persuade you to read it.  I say stars are magical celestial beings and we all get to be one for a little while. I think they’re shaped like giant kidney stones made of solid diamond, that’s why they sparkle so. I think stars are our hopes and dreams that were fulfilled before we lost our belief in magic. I think stars are the people we lost and missed and they decided to suspend themselves for a few minutes while we look.  I think stars are beautiful no matter what they are and it wouldn’t hurt us at all to look towards them more often.&nbsp…

Suicide

December Writing Challenge Day 3 (Day 33) Suicide.  Geez. What a topic. I like to make light of things but there’s not a light side to this. So I plan to tread carefully, and let me apologize ahead of time if I inadvertently step wrong with my words. I am rarely eloquent. I am always sincere when it comes to something serious. Suicide will touch most of us at one time or another. I got a little practice while working as a dispatcher. As much as you can, in any case. We had these books, a protocol of questions to ask your caller for pretty much any life or death situation. But the callers always wanted to ask us the questions. And it was always the same: “WHY???”  The short answer was we didn’t know, and it wasn’t for us to know. The long answer is as follows: Debt and gambling problems. People think they are worth more dead than they are alive and that their loved ones would be better off without them. So they take matters into their own hands and we’re left holding the pieces. Pain. I once knew a mighty fine man. When he was younger, he played professional baseball. He hurt his back. He was never the same. Time went by, he became successful at his career. He married and raised children. The pain never left him. So, at the brink of retirement…