Tag Archives: memories

Reminder

lessonslearnedinlife.com – Peace Love and Smiles

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Happy July 4th – 2022

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One of the many reasons I fell in love with my husband was the 4th of July when he spent all evening setting off fireworks. My dad was almost blind, but he could see the night-time fireworks, and the 4th was his favorite holiday.

It was really hot that evening and my husband worked non-stop to make sure that it was the best 4th of July ever for my dad. My dad cried with joy, hugged him over over and over, thanking him profusely. And my heart dropped at his feet.

This year we’re hoping that our down-in-the-valley neighbors will set off some fireworks. I have my “Peppa Pig” Giant Bubble Wand ready to play with and hope to create some championship bubbles – though, really – even the regular ones make my heart sing.

Instead of a cookout, I’m going to fix us ‘shrimp cocktail meals’ with salad and a roll, and we’ll have ice cream for dessert in celebration of the day.

Have a wonderful Independence Day.

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Happy Sunday 4-17-2022

Petr Vaclavek – Dubanci, cz

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Sunday!

I wish you a happy day, a happy celebration, a quiet, calm day.

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Yet another rainy day here in Arkansas. After today, we’re supposed to have something appear in the sky that lights everything up and warms the air. I’m interested to see what that is. Maybe we can find and plant some tomato plants either Monday or Tuesday!

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I have Easter memories swirling.

Fuzzy SOFT pink angora sweater that made me feel very feminine for the first time a hundred years ago. Sweet rabbits my parents got for the family as pets – we named them “Welsh” and “Peter” Rabbit. Dyeing Easter eggs. Hunting for Easter eggs with a big basket. Eating Easter eggs. Then, many years later, Dyeing and Hiding Easter eggs for our son, plus for my students at school where I taught. Beautiful services. Soul-filling songs.

I am hoping for a quiet, calm day today. :0)

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Blast from the Past

This was an ad my dad ran in the newspaper years ago. Our son found it and sent it to me this morning. Our son had asked me the day before what the “TE” in the phone number stood for. In those days, there was a word associated with a group of phone numbers. This one was “Temple,” so if people asked for your phone number, you said, “Temple 5-1075,” or “TE 5-1075.” This was our personal/business phone number in Tulsa from the time we moved there when I was 5 until all phone numbers across the nation were changed.

Our son also wanted to know who my dad thought was the WORST radio voice was. There was a woman who ran a flower shop in Tulsa when my dad was doing the radio ads. I THINK her name was “Christina” and I THINK her business name was “Christina’s Flowers.” She had a low, gravelly voice. My dad thought it was wonderful because everyone else on the radio (except she and him) had voices with round, mello, smooth tones. So he billed himself the Second World’s Worst Radio voice. Wow. how MUCH I miss him.

It’s funny that our son sent these this morning, April 3rd. It would have been my parents’ 80th wedding anniversary. I had been thinking of them yesterday, missing them, so it’s amazing our son sent this.

He also sent me an image from Google Maps showing our home in Tulsa as it appears today. The people did a lot of work to the house and put a fence around the perimeter of the property. I wish I could share it with you, but I can’t get the URL to embed here. I’ll add it here – just in case you are able to make it work.

https://goo.gl/maps/ZgapVPyJxv8iWjLt6

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Memories

Peace, Love and Smiles

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Favor

sent to me by a friend

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Never Forget 9-11-2001

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Long Legged Birds Make Me Smile

Blackwinged Stilt-Riccardo Trevisani – 500PX
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I love birds. I love pretty birds AND ‘ugly’ birds. I love water birds. I love water birds with long legs. I’ve been to the ocean once that I remember, when my husband and I went to California. We drove down Highway 101 and I made my husband stop many times so that I could get out and walk on the sand a bit. When I saw the sandpipers skitter across the sand on their long, long legs, it made me laugh out loud. I loved it.

One of life’s many pleasures – to be remembered – not to be missed.

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Remembering

verdieping.nl – www,ShannonRSmith.com

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Merry Christmas 2020

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Merry Christmas! I hope you’re enjoying a safe and love-filled day.

My Christmas memories are filling me up and spilling out today.

Favorite childhood Christmases include the one where I received the most gorgeous, soft, pink, furry, FEMININE sweater I’ve ever had. Another was when my brother and I received 3-speed bicycles called English racers. One of the most cherished memories is the Christmas caroling that started at our house each year. We gathered neighbors at each house, singing and laughing, freezing our parts off, ending with hot chocolate and cookies at home when we were finished.

My husband’s and my first Christmas together was in 1969. Our very best Christmas present was our son, born in December of 1978. The next was December of 1980 when our daughter was born. Today we are celebrating our 51st Christmas together. It’s just the two of us this year, but we are very grateful to be together. We talked to our son in Thailand on our chat program this morning.

This has been a challenging year for us all. I hope that you are staying safe and well, surrounded by love however you can manage it.

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Admiration

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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.

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How Do You Carve YOUR Pumpkin?

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

When I was a child – back in 1492 or so – things were much simpler. My brother and I scrounged around, looking for a way to ‘dress up’ for Halloween, creating costumes. We didn’t buy any costumes. Sometimes we bought masks, but they were generic type masks, not a particular character. My parents would get set up to hand out candy. My brother would head out the door to find his friends, disappearing until the time my parents said for us to be home. I went out to find MY friends and we headed for the neighborhood next to ours, where the houses were nice and close together and LOTS of porch lights were on, welcoming all comers.

We walked and walked, happily filling up our Halloween bags and eating at the same time, having the time of our lives. The only parents we saw on the streets had super young children who were obviously out for their FIRST Halloween. Very few cars. Kids of all ages everywhere. When our bags were full, or we were too tired to go any farther, we would finally head home.

My brother and I each took our Halloween bags to our rooms, to be hidden until we had each eaten all we wanted over the next days. Stomach aches were a part of it. Only a HINT of warnings that maybe we should look at what we got carefully before throwing whatever it was into our mouths. The only one I remember was the possibility of razor blades in apples. As I said, life was simpler then. And GLORIOUS.

The world has changed, and the holiday and celebrations have been forced to change with it. Now there are subsidized Haunted Houses and group parties. Kids are still going Trick-or-Treating, but mommies accompany them, or follow in cars. Only occasionally will you see a costume a child has created. Most of them are purchased. No one stays out late. Everyone checks every piece of candy to be as sure as possible that all is okay. The kids don’t know any differently, but it makes me a bit sad.  Things will really be different this year, with the pandemic. I hope they still look forward to the celebration and eat too much candy!

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Fall is a Wonderful Season

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My energy level increases when the summer finally breathes its last and the cooler temperatures begin. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m ‘mature,’ or because I am carrying more weight than I would like, but the hot temperature and humidity of summer do me in sometimes before I’ve done much more than begun. I really don’t like being forced to hurry from one source of air conditioning to the next in order to feel halfway comfortable.

We are feeling definite relief here in Arkansas now. In fact, we have a cold front due overnight which is to bring significantly lower temperatures! :0)

I have always liked cool weather clothes. I love layering, including vests, hoodies, scarves, hats, sweaters, jackets, coats, boots and more. It doesn’t matter that when I pull on a cute hat with a pom pom on the top, I look like I’ve been swallowed. I love it anyway! I am forcing myself to go through my collection, though, because I have WAAAY more than any one person can really use. I will share my wealth of silly hats and great scarves with the people who shop at the Disabled Vets Thrift Town in Ft. Smith. I’m trying to arrange a donation once every other month this year, and my winter stuff is a good place to start.

I love things like hot chocolate, main meal soups, stews, chili. Big hunks of bread (though I will put even the IDEA of this one off until maybe NEXT year – when MAYBE I will have reached my goal weight); walking outside, enjoying the changing colors of the leaves, a fire in the fireplace, sitting under a throw in my recliner with a good book and a cup of coffee…

What is YOUR favorite season?

 

 

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“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…”

Wallpaperhi

“Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again
The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart
Rain please tell me now does that seem fair
For her to steal my heart away when she don’t care?
I can’t love another when my hearts somewhere far away
The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart
Rain won’t you tell her that I love her so
Please ask the sun to set her heart aglow
Rain in her heart and let the love we knew start to grow
Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again
Oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter
Oh, oh, oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter”
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John C. Gummoe
Sung by The Cascades

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Thoughts on a Saturday 7-4-2020

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We are having a quite dark, rainy Independence Day so far. I don’t know how long it has been raining, but the ground was really saturated when I took Molly out for her morning walk. I sank down into some mud at one point walking around the back of the well house. We live on top of a ridge line, so it takes quite a bit of rain to make our ground soggy. It’s a quiet rain,  rather than a severe storm, so we have the doors open, enjoying a nice breeze, as well as the lovely sound of the rain.

I do hope that it stops by evening, though. We have become quite spoiled here because a couple of neighbors down in the valley behind our home put on quite a fireworks show most years. One of my favorite things in the world is fireworks. I especially love the big orange streaky ones that seem to cover the whole sky. I love ALL of them that sparkle!

 

D’source

 

I love snakes and sparklers, too.

 

GIPHY

A memory that will always fill my heart and make me tear up is a year before my husband and I were married. We were celebrating at my parents’ house. Their house sat on an acre and a quarter of land in a neighborhood of two mile-long streets, 24th Street and 25th Place, that each had the same amount of land between Sheridan Avenue and Memorial Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  My dad had bad cataracts and the medical community was JUST to the point where removal of them wasn’t such a huge issue. My dad was living with his, even though he had had to give up a lot of things, not being able to see well enough to enjoy them. The 4th of July was his favorite holiday. He LOVED fireworks. My husband-to-be bought a bunch and brought them with him when he came to share dinner. When night fell, we were all sitting on the patio. My husband brought out the bag of fireworks, a complete surprise for my dad, and proceeded to give my dad the best of all Independence Day celebrations. HE COULD SEE THE FIREWORKS and was like a little kid, joy on his face at each one. It was a hot night and my husband practically worked himself to death to give my dad his personal fireworks display. (I am teared up remembering this. I just went across the room to give my husband a big hug, kiss the top of his head, and tell him again how MUCH that gift meant to my whole family.)

I am hoping that we can cook out tonight. We bought some steak and baking potatoes – a total splurge for us.  If not tonight, my fingers will be crossed we can do it tomorrow night.

I hope you are having a happy day, too.

 

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Childhood Memories

My friend Marsha sent this to me this morning. It brought back memories of car trips my family took, where there was little to keep young minds active. I always tried to get truck drivers to blow their horns for me. I was a happy child because most of them smiled and complied. We kept track of states shown on license plates. We played a kind of “I Spy” with a list of things to watch for on the road. We sang songs. We read books. Another other wonderful thing was the Burma Shave signs –

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Debbye

This is just one of the groups of happy daffodils in our yard right now. They have exploded in bloom over the last couple of weeks – freezes or not. This is my favorite group, though. It looks kind of like a ‘daffodil bouquet’ on the edge of our yard before a group of rocks marks the edge of the ‘civilized’ part of our front yard.

 

This is “Debbye” – my good friend who got me into trying to paint, to create things as I have always wanted to do.

She died of breast cancer many years ago. She was sitting on her bed painting a watercolor of a hummingbird (now on the wall of our stairway) when I went to visit one day. I hugged her, then silently watched her paint for a few minutes. Finally, I said, “I WISH I could do that!”

She got angry with me – for the first and the last time in our friendship. She said, “What the Hell are you waiting for? YOU have the time. What do you care if your work never makes it off your own refrigerator door? JUST DO IT!!!!!”  She changed my life that day.

At her funeral there were two large barrels on either side of the entry to the church. We were asked to grab a double handful of daffodil bulbs as we left and plant them as a reminder of Debbye. I planted mine in a clump by the rocks where they would be at least a little bit protected. Before each spring starts, the greenery shoots up, full of life and energy, and then Debbye blooms once again.

We would all have our memories of Debbye and her indomitable spirit without the bulbs, but I loved the idea at her funeral and have never heard of it being done before or since.  A lovely way to remember a smart, creative, and lovely lady.

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Music

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Happy First Day of Winter 2018!

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Since we have a 650 foot STEEP driveway and I’m a chicken when it comes to driving in snow and ice, winter is not my favorite season. I LOVE the inventiveness and creativity of the snow people I find online, plus the wonderful Christmas-card-perfect photos of beautiful, snow-covered homes welcoming you home with lights shining from within.

I would rather SEE and APPRECIATE from afar, though I do enjoy making a snowman if we’re lucky enough to get enough – and good packing – snow. One year I put our son on a sled and we rode down the driveway together. We didn’t stop until we were down the driveway, across the road that goes in front of our house, and into the ditch beyond. Happily, no one was killed or injured, but it too us a good half hour to trudge back up to the house. On the way down, my jeans PACKED with snow, so “I” looked like a snowman!

When we were dating, my husband decided to build a snow person in my parent’s front yard in Tulsa. Imagine their faces when they went out to get the newspaper the next morning to find an extremely FEMININE snow person greeting all comers! A couple of parts were quickly removed before they went back in. :0)

I was born in Chicago, but we moved to Brooklyn and then to Long Island soon after. When I was 5 we moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and when I married, we moved to Greenwood, Arkansas, so I have rarely been in a place – when I was old enough to enjoy it – where winter was done well. We usually get sleet and ice and THEN some snow on top.

I’ll content myself, on this first day of winter, to oohing and ahhing at pretty PICTURES of homes and wonderfully creative snow people.

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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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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!

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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…

Pixabay

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!

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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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Gingerbread House

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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…

THIS YEAR –

 

house-justforjokesandfunviaanngilstrap

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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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