Category Archives: Favorite People
When I was in college, I was invited to a yard party where a young college couple enjoyed a gathering of their friends and THEIR friends. I never felt so welcome, before or since.
Even as I was enjoying the feeling, I was aware that it emanated from the woman of the couple. Now I’m so old and doofus I can’t come up with her name, but I can STILL appreciate the way she made me feel.
The kindness simply flowed enveloping everyone. She had a lovely smile and a truly contagious laugh that made everyone around her smile, whether they heard what amused her or not. How beautifully unique and precious she was!
Now, more than ever, I appreciate kindness.
I have a beautiful friend. She’s wonky, with strong political views, but she makes an effort to do at least one kind thing each day. Something that may go unnoticed, but she does it anyway. A small example is when I was shopping with her. On the way to the store, she stopped the car by the side of the road in the neighborhood, picked up an empty garbage can that had blown across the road, found the lid, and put both beside the driveway of the owner. When we got to the parking lot of the store, she immediately offered to take the cart back to the store for the lady at her car. She leaps to help people carry stuff, or open doors. She is free with hugs (postponed with Covid) and big warm grins. I am trying to emulate her.
Can you see me grinning? Can you feel the happiness spilling out of me all over the floor?
Our son came home from Thailand yesterday for the first time in over 3 years. After he had a chance to catch up a bit on sleep, we shared beef stew, pets, and good conversation until about 11:30 last night.
There are no words for how full I’m feeling. I have everything right in my home. Right now.
Our elderly cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross, Molly, not only remembered him, crying with excitement and joy, she insisted on spending much of the evening in his lap, only moving to push her face closer to him. We were all touched by how happy she was to welcome him home again. Amber was her usual boisterous self, blissfully unaware of how huge she is and how much destruction she can cause in a short amount of time. She, too, calmed down, though, after a while, and was content to come over and demand he love her every once in a while.
It doesn’t matter what we do while he’s here. I’m going to try to get some pictures, and I’m trying NOT to smother him, though he’s telling me I’m ‘worrying too much’ about whether he’s comfortable or not, has everything he needs, can find things, remembers about our weird hot water system, etc. There is no way a mother quits worrying until she is gone.
I’ll collect as many hugs as he’ll allow while he’s here and just enjoy the time spent with him, whatever we’re doing. I love to talk with him. Last night we started talking about meditation. He is really into the practice and it’s helping him calm his mind and deal with whatever happens. I’m really happy he has found something that is so rewarding.
He just came into the office after eating his breakfast and before going up to shower. He loved Amber until she calmed down and then came over and gave me the best hug in the world. Now I’m adding tears to the joy.
So, you’ll probably get sick of happiness exuding all over the place from me over the next three weeks. I have to tell you I can’t help it and I’ll be happy enough for you and me BOTH!
After reading my post yesterday about zinnias, my cousin (and beautiful friend) Murray Dennis sent me a poem she wrote, saying, “Just sending this as something sort of silly, some neighbors down the street also have zinnias and I wrote this for them . . . It goes along with a picture I took of their fence.”
I loved the poem, and asked her if I could share it. I found the best picture I could to go with it. –
“Zinnias at the Fence” By Murray Dennis
“Petaled Riots of happy
Orange. . .Purple . . Yellow . . .Red
Growing . . .
flowing in abundance
from a dappled flower
Sneaking . . . Peeking . . .
Through picket fences
Touching all the tender
What a treat
For eager eyes.
A visual shout!
A quiet prize!”
My dad’s left arm was shorter than his right and his hand was curved, almost useless, from a fall from a horse when he was 3. I almost forgot that he might be a bit challenged from time to time. He never talked about it, never brought attention to it. He just lived with it. We saw a panhandler on the street when we were on vacation when I was a child. He walked up to the man, who had an arm just like his. The man asked for money, holding up his arm. My dad simply held up HIS arm and said, “Get a job.”
My dad loved to tell jokes and stories. He loved puns. He loved sarcasm. He survived by humor when he was a child, dealing with kids on the playground, who made fun of his arm. He made them laugh so hard they finally accepted him and quit bullying.
He brought his family to Tulsa, Oklahoma from Chicago/New York/Long Island with a dream of having his own advertising agency. 25 years later, he won a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his “Unique contribution to the advertising world in Tulsa, OK” shortly before he died, having supported his family and putting two kids through college.
He came to a class when I was going for a Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist. My talk in that class was teaching children to listen wisely to advertising. My dad was the guest speaker. He was a bit of a celebrity, billing himself as “Tulsa’s 2nd worst radio voice.” His radio spots got people’s attention because they made you listen, sometimes making you laugh. You always remembered the companies lucky enough to hire him. At the end of the class, he said something to the effect – “It’s fun to write advertising commercials. It’s fun to come and talk to you today. But the thing I love the most about today is getting to watch my daughter give a speech. My daughter is Linda Lewis.” You could have heard a pin drop at the surprise – and then delight – in the room. They erupted in applause and I cried.
My dad was unique. He was ahead of his time. He wanted my brother and me to call him “Jim” because “dad” kind of embarrassed him. He was an only child and didn’t figure he was that great as a dad. He set an example of honesty, integrity, determination and courage in living his life every day. He said, “Remember me laughing.”
I do, Jim, even with tears in my eyes. Happy Father’s Day.
“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” ~Clarence Budington Kelland
Today is our 48th wedding anniversary. We dated for 8 years before we married, so in many ways we think of this as our 56th year together. We hope that – since we have a good start now – we can enjoy MANY more happy years together.
Each year we ask each other if our ‘option’ to share another year is to be renewed. (We don’t take anything for granted.) This morning we agreed that, indeed, we want to spend at LEAST another year together. :0)
I think that many people marry for the wrong reasons. When I married my husband, it was because I wanted to share my LIFE with him, whatever happened, forever. That’s a huge commitment and it should not be entered into lightly. Sometimes we feel very, very close. Other times I want to wring his neck. We’re two very different people. We don’t agree on many things. We don’t even use the same salt. But love overrides all.
We’ve shared everything for 48 years. We built a family together. We have a son who is smarter, braver, and kinder than both of us put together. We wish we could take credit for the man he is, but the truth is we lucked out. We created a daughter who was beautiful, but she died of SIDS at two months of age. The hurt and loss never leave, and changed our lives forever. We’ve shared wonderful things, and intense sorrow. We have celebrated the good things together, and have helped each other deal with many tough things. It’s ‘the two of us against the world.’
I have seen many people treat their spouse terribly. Then, when out in public – after fighting with their spouse – they turn on the smiles to everyone else. I truly believe it should be the opposite. You should treat your spouse with the best you have in you. Concentrate on treating him better than you would treat anyone else. (This doesn’t mean you don’t have disagreements, hurt feelings, anger, etc. After all, you two know each other better than anyone else in the world. You know what buttons to push. Sometimes there are hurt feelings because of the TONE. Sometimes it’s just a look. When you’re this close to someone, great care should be taken.)
I’ve been trying to ‘train’ my husband for years, to no avail. He quotes somebody as saying, “When a woman marries, she thinks she can change him, and he doesn’t. When a man marries, he hopes she’ll never change, and she does.”
Sharing your life with someone is a priceless gift. You should give it at least the same care as you would any priceless gift – care, attention, nurturing, patience…..
So, when he jumped over the back fence with a rose in his teeth, he took my breath away. He still does.
I saw a post today called, “Measure Your Words.” The point of the post was thinking before you speak, realizing that your words have power, etc.
I immediately thought of my mom, though, when I read the title.
My mother’s dad would only pay for one year of college, so my mom – in one year – took all the courses required for graduation from the two-year, Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, but one (not available that year) almost graduating. She read voraciously, worked a crossword puzzle and the cryptoquote from the newspaper every day, almost always finishing both.
She could stand up in a meeting and say what was on her mind succinctly and persuasively. My husband has said he wishes he could do HALF as well as she did with no notes, talking off the cuff, no matter the occasion. I personally die off at the idea of speaking in public. When I do, my lip twitches…
I remember that I could tell how angry she was by how long the words were. If she were miffed, her message was straightforward. The more angry she was, the longer the words got. She had quite an impressive vocabulary, making a point of learning new words all the time, memorizing their meanings and proper pronunciation and usage. She once got up in a meeting, ripping the previous speaker’s words to ribbons, using words that were SO long, many of the people – including the speaker – didn’t realize he had been gutted like a fish.
“Measure your words” brings back lots of memories of growing up with a wonderful role model. I would give anything to be able to listen to her now – no matter how long her words were. :0)
Raising kids is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Sometimes your kids become really good people in spite of you. Whatever happened in our case, I’m really proud of our son. He’s across the world from us, living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He spends part of each day learning Thai. His kindness and generosity make me humble.
He wrote us last night, saying he was going out today with New Year’s cards – with money in them – giving them to people he didn’t know who ‘had crappy jobs.’
My eyes are filled with tears of pride that he would think to do this, and actually do it. He makes ‘loans’ he won’t allow people to repay, he gives away stuff he has to people who don’t have it, he gives hugs to me without my having to ask. These are only a few examples of the way our son lives his life. How lucky I am to know such a person!
I love making things for friends for Christmas.
This year I did personalized note cards for 8 people: the three ladies who work at the post office; my Lunch Bunch friends, Linda and Kay, and my good friends Carla and Nora. I’ll do two other sets over the next few days for the two wonderful waitresses at the Pizza Barn in Greenwood, where we have Lunch Bunch. They gave each of us a Christmas mug! I also enjoyed giving some of my mosaic Christmas ornaments, plus jewelry, etc.
There is almost nothing that gives me the pleasure of watching people I care about open gifts from me at birthdays and Christmas. Next year I’m seriously thinking of giving some “Just Because” gifts, purely for the joy it gives ME. I know – I’m thinking of myself again, but at least I’m honest about it….
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Recently we drove to Thibodaux, Louisiana to visit with our dear cousins/great friends, Murray and John. We write, we call, but seeing them face to face and being able to share hugs is the best. They couldn’t make us feel more welcome. We just wish we could see them more often.
The latest trip I was so touched that Murray insisted I choose something I liked from her wonderful collection of glassware. I chose this wonderful purple pitcher because I LOVE pitchers of all shapes and sizes. Murray said there were glasses that went with it; but, although we looked and looked, we were unable to find them.
Murray was setting up for a meeting of one of her clubs, getting out fall things, and found the glasses! They arrived in the mail today along with a nice letter from John.
This set belonged to one of my husband’s aunts, Kathryn Dennis.
I love the set because –
- I love pitchers, with our without coordinating glasses
- I love purple
- I love things with texture
- the set belonged to my husband’s Aunt Kathyrn
- the set most recently belonged to my wonderful cousin/friend Murray