Tag Archives: memories

The Best Things in Life

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August 1, 2018 · 11:45 am

“Italian Church from Bucharest”

“Italian Church from Bucharest” – Paul Militaru Photography


I absolutely love this beautiful church photographed by Paul Militaru.  I have always been drawn to small, beautiful “treasures” of churches. The fact that this one – a piece of the old world – is in the middle of a city that has moved on in time fascinates me.

Second, it reminds me of when I visited the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas years ago. My husband had some kind of business conference. We spent most of the free time we had on the River Walk – one of my favorite places in the world. I think I would be happy living there. :0)

One day I walked up some steps to the street above and saw the Alamo right across the intersection in the midst of modern city. In all the postcards and books I had ever seen it only showed the building. I imagined it sitting in wide, open spaces, but it was like time had stood still, leaving the building, and now it was crammed into the middle of the bustling city.

I will never forget my visit there. I went over, interested, but it wasn’t high on my list of things to see while I was there. I walked around inside and then sat on a bench in the courtyard. All of a sudden I felt swamped overwhelmed by emotion. There were a couple of other people walking around, but I was feeling something quite different. I felt the force of the lives that were lost there. It felt like they wanted me to acknowledge the enormity of their sacrifice. I sat there for about an hour, FEELING something I’d never felt before.

When I tried to tell my husband later about the visit, I found myself tearing up, still swamped by the feelings. I’ve never had this happen before or since.

This beautiful photograph is also telling a story of lives past. I hope that it has a large membership still, with people cherishing it. If it is now a museum, I hope it’s visited and valued.

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Filed under Paul Militaru Photography

Fascinating Gift

Our friend Nora came for dinner Christmas Eve evening. We exchanged gifts, ate, caught up, and shared lots of love and hugs. It was a really nice evening.

One of the gifts she gave me was called an Intarsia Puzzle Box.


It is handcrafted by ‘Carver Dan,’ Daniel Terrico.  I would have loved this if it didn’t ‘do’ anything at all. It is made from 100% exotic hardwoods with NO paint or stains! Their color comes from the natural wood and hand-rubbed finish.  Isn’t it wonderful?


Each puzzle contains a removable locking pin. You check around the outside of the puzzle box, locate the pin and remove it.


On the bottom right side of the box, you can see where I’ve removed the pin.  Then you slide the ‘face’ off its dovetail style cut to remove it.


You then pick up the ‘lid’ showing the storage area below.


Nice, felt-lined storage area.


The workmanship is first-rate. The pieces fit beautifully and slide apart with no effort. This is such a treasure!

My husband sent me a small puzzle box a hundred or so years ago when I was 14 and he was in the Marines. We wrote every day. The mailman – ignoring rules – put the red flag up on the mailbox at the road when there was a letter to me from my husband. I would watch from the front window in the house, bursting out the door and running down the driveway to get the mail. :0)

One day the box arrived. It was supposed to take 6 or 7 movements in order for you to be able to open the box. No instructions, just the wooden box. I don’t know how long it took me to get the box open, but I finally did – to find a sweet, sparkly rooster pin inside!

THIS beautifully made box brought back wonderful memories of the past, as well as providing great fun on a Christmas Eve with a well-loved friend. TWO gifts in one!


Filed under Creativity, Friendship

Memories of the Dump

This morning was the semi-annual free dumping day in Greenwood. I know it’s weird, but it’s a highlight of our lives. It also brings back fond memories…


Now that you’re ready to consign me to the funny farm, the ‘memories’ come from dating my husband. We used any excuse to get away together a hundred years or so ago. We spent many days and evenings at the local dump, scrap yards, auto salvage places, etc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sometimes we were looking for a needed car part. Sometimes we were taking things to get rid of for one or both of our families. I never knew anyone else who fell in love at a dump, but then, we’ve never been the typical couple.

NOW we would LOVE to be able to wander through these places, looking for wonderful scrap for our metal critters. Alas, the world is now so litigious, all are closed to the public due to liability issues. We’re really up the creek now for scrap.

One of the many things I love about Arkansas and Greenwood is that they have arranged to make your life easier. One example is early voting. Another is online renewal of your car license tag. A third is the semi-annual free chance to get rid of things that are bulky, heavy, or a pain to get rid of otherwise. There are men who empty whatever you bring (within limits) from your vehicle. So all you do is drive over there, wait for a bit until it’s your turn, drive in farther, and then leave trash-free. How wonderful is that!


We always write the day on the calendar so we’re sure we don’t miss it. We have a large trash can in the shop devoted to metal we can’t use for anything. We’ve made a bunch of stuff in the past six months, so today the can was overflowing. We now feel we have a new lease on life with an EMPTY trash can for metal!

We have to go back on Monday to finally get rid of a dishwasher we bought that was a huge mistake. We didn’t like it from the first. It really got on my husband’s nerves. Finally, he got so aggravated that he was able to make our old dishwasher we loved work again. He took the new one out, put the old one back in, and moved the new one into the yard to go to the dump. The City of Greenwood is taking appliances Monday, so we’ll finally get rid of it then.  (True to form, he was SO aggravated that he only wanted to throw it away, rather than taking it back to the store or trying to sell it. He said it was so bad he would be embarrassed to try to palm it off on anyone.)

Thank you, City of Greenwood!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Gingerbread House



I’ve always wanted to make a gingerbread house. I tried to get my mom to make one with me when I was a child. She had no interest in it.

When I got married, I thought I would make one just for myself and our visitors at Christmas, but somehow, it never happened.

When I was a teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I thought about making a gingerbread house with my 1st grade students. It never happened because (1) it was logistically difficult since essentially everything had to be baked my me at my home and then the gingerbread and all the supplies for making the house would have had to be transported to the school. I was already getting in trouble for playing my guitar at school to teach my kids phonics (I was told, “Ms. Lewis, this is NOT a music class!) plus other reasons…

When our son was old enough to be counting the days ’til Christmas, I thought he and I might make one together. I discovered that HE had no interest in the project…




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Filed under Attitude, Dreams, holidays

Good Morning!

Whoever “Sam” is, I applaud this drawing. I love the color and the sense of humor! Great job!

This morning I’m remembering our recent vacation, where we drove to Thibodaux, Louisiana to visit our cousins/good friends Murray and John.

To say we had a wonderful time just doesn’t say enough. I’ve been having lovely, random thoughts and emotions ever since we came home. Here are some of them –

  • CHEESE GRITS – I really can’t eat regular grits, no matter how they’re prepared. I avoid them like the plague. When Murray served them a couple of visits ago, I dutifully put a very small spoonful on my plate, trying to be polite while I grimaced inside. I was really glad grits wasn’t the ONLY thing on the breakfast menu, and figured one spoonful wouldn’t kill me.  I’ve never been so shocked in my life. They were ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I have to admit I made a pig of myself, timing getting more after the bowl had been passed around the table each time.  My husband simply said that “Linda has to have cheese grits” almost as we walked into their home! I was embarrassed. I wasn’t going to ask because both Murray and John had been ill recently and I didn’t want to put them to the trouble. Murray served them on our second morning there. I ate all that was reasonable, and was delighted when they packed a doggie bag for me to take home. My husband and I enjoyed them our first morning home. Since I’m trying to get the lard off, I won’t have them again until the NEXT time we go visit – IF Murray will be kind enough to make them.  cheesegrits
  • HUGS – I probably drove them nuts, but I sneaked in as many hugs as I could while we were there. They make us feel so welcome. The love simply pours out and embraces you. It’s hard to leave.
  • STORIES AND CONVERSATION – I love their home. Everywhere you look there are treasures. Some have been in the family for several generations. Other things bring memories of trips. All have been gathered with love. I can’t tell you how I love hearing the story behind new things I find each visit. We laugh at the funny stories. We tear up at the memories of ones we love. If it’s possible, we feel closer to each other each time we visit.
  • FRIENDS – This visit we got to meet some of their good friends – Matt, Ann, Gordon, Jacque (sp?) There was good food, of course, but the conversation was priceless. I teared up several times at how they teased each other (as really good friends do, if you’re lucky). I noticed how Murray would ask someone a questions, or ask them to share a story, and some of the richness of their friends’ lives flowed over and around the group. Many laughs were shared.  One example: Matt calls himself ‘The Dumb Plumber.” He has been so successful that he can now pick and choose the jobs he takes. He has chosen million dollar homes as his specialty. He loves to hunt and has four college degrees. His accent was a bit difficult for us to understand, but I could have listened to him forever. His eyes danced as he talked, taking in everyone in the room.
  • OLD ESTATE – This is one of my favorite places in Thibodaux. All four of us went this time. My husband found earrings he wanted me to have, plus a sign that says, “In dog beers, I’ve only had one.” (It’s hanging on the wall in our kitchen now).  This is a beautiful combination of goodies shop and art gallery, owned by a friend of Murray’s and John’s.  (Murray calls it “Jerome’s). I look forward to finding a new treasure to take home each time we go.

I could go on. I find a happy image floating in front of my face from time to time. Or I grin, thinking of something we talked about. We are so lucky to have relatives/friends who encourage us to come see them, make us SO welcome when we do, give us such good feelings to enjoy long after we come home, plus memories to last a lifetime.

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Filed under Family, Friendship