Birthday Lunch, Box Wine and Family

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You learn something new every day. This past Saturday, Tim and I went to Carrollton and took his mother out for an early birthday lunch. Dana, Ruth’s other daughter-in-law, joined us and even though I’ve known (and loved!) Dana over 25 years, I learned many things…

Tim and I dated at Tee (Tim’s brother) and Dana’s house. We would just go over and hang out with them or babysit their kiddos. (We were poor and they would feed us, so it was a win-win situation people!) We don’t get to Carrollton as often as we like, and we certainly don’t get to see everyone we want when there, so it was great to have some time with Dana. I learned so… very… much…

Being a just few years younger than Dana, I look up to her to keep me on my toes regarding what is hip and current. Lo and behold, box wine is now hip and current… who knew?!?! Well, it may not really be up and coming but I about spewed my drink when Dana told me she switched to box wine because she was getting embarrassed by all the wine bottles she was taking to the recyclers (can you say two bin habit?) Now I promised her I would not mention this to anyone, so y’all keep this on this down-low, K?? Thanks! She also may or may not have mentioned that playing into this decision was the fact that she kept running into a certain member of the clergy who she was certain now thought she supplied her whole neighborhood with wine. We got to laughing so hard and loud that I’m afraid I may never be allowed in Plates again… oops!!

I have said for many years that it was wonderful to have family that are friends… I know it’s rare and I’m grateful every day for all of my in-laws. Besides, Dana will be SO GLAD I didn’t mention the HUGE stack of ones in her purse that she “claimed” she had left over from a mission trip… yeah! That’s a good story… let’s go with that… seriously, where else could someone thin and beautiful get a HUGE stack of ones in the Atlanta area?!?!?!?!? Love you bunches Dana!!

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I Dropped My Basket

Athens Wedding

Not sure where I first heard this phrase but boy did is it spot on! The boys were coming in for winter break, all of us headed to a holiday family wedding in Athens, then on to visit family in Carrollton, Christmas was only days away, lastly sending Luke off to France for four months. (We all see where this is headed don’t we?!?!) I don’t even remember where in midst of all this it happened but at some point I… just… lost… it. You know the kind of losing it where you are staring at yourself from outside your body thinking “whoa… that chick is INSANE!” and then you suddenly realize that chick is you… it’s not pretty people, not pretty at all.

You should know that while I’m not a type A personality who has to pack six weeks in advance, I do think if you are leaving the country for four months it is important to begin thinking about what to pack at least five days out. Now hubby would say you need to be packed at least ten days out… this may or may not have contributed to the basket drop. Just sayin. Anyway, Luke really did think it would be fine to wait until the day before he left to begin organizing his stuff. I mean it will wash and pack itself and it’s not like airlines have a weight or bag limit, right?!? (yes that was my sarcasm font right there!) So between all the disorganization, travel woes, holiday preparations and the emotions of sending off part of my heart to France, I had my basket dropping moment. BAM!! It was on the floor and everything was just rolling all over the place.

But the good news is I think when my head spun around for the third time, Luke realized that maybe we were serious about getting things done ASAP. After that I was fine… poor Tim may never be the same again but hey, we all have our moments… sometimes I just can’t hide my crazy. Living the truth people, just living the truth.

The One and Only Haddie

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(Mutt and Maude aka Haddie, my father-in-law Tom with Haddie, 4 year old Tim and Haddie)

Today would have been the 114th birthday of my husband’s grandmother, Haddie. Her real name was Maude Snow Hadley and she was quite the woman let me tell you! She gave birth to two of the spunkiest people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting and loved her husband so dearly that after he died she remained a widow for the rest of her life which was more than forty years. She lived all by herself in the same house where she raised her family from the time Mutt died until she was 95 years old (yes, they were Mutt and Maude…hey, the Reeve side were Ellis and Etha!!)

I remember the first thanksgiving after Will was born. Papa, Mema, Tim, Will and I loaded up Mema’s blue Oldsmobile station wagon so we could head to Statesville, North Carolina to spend the holiday with Haddie. (oh yes, we were styling and profiling in that swagger wagon!) At the time she was almost 92 years old but you would never know it to spend time with her. My favorite part of the holiday visit (not counting the hours of amazing conversation and storytelling!) had to be when Haddie sat down at her piano to play from memory The Maple Leaf Rag. It. Was. Amazing. When she first sat down at the piano, she couldn’t remember how to start the song and as we talked, she began to peck at the keys until suddenly in the middle of her talking with us she realized she was playing the song!!

How I wish I had been given more years with Haddie and her zest for life! Imagine a woman widowed in the prime of her life, choosing to live alone and do life her way for the next forty plus years. She was so active, she drove up until her ninetieth birthday when her kids realized that backing out onto a four lane highway was just not a good idea any longer. Haddie even did dying her way. She moved to Carrollton once she realized she could no longer live alone and after charming the entire community, she quietly died in her sleep less than six months later.

The world was a better place because she was in it and my family is blessed to have loved and been loved by her. Happy birthday Haddie! I’m certain that for today, God is doing things your way.

Let’s Go Trojans

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This weekend the high school state football championship games will be played and frankly, I’m torn. You see, hubby and I went to rival high schools but have somehow stayed married all these years. I’m certain this is due in part to the fact we moved away from our hometown so there was not discussion about which school our children would attend. But I digress… the football team from Tim’s alma mater will be playing for the state championship Saturday night and while I would normally not care, this year I am cheering for the Trojans… yes my Central Lion homies, I said that and said it out loud. I will be cheering for the Carrollton Trojans but the reason why has nothing to do with my adorable husband.

You see, there were nine or ten of us that hung around all through our junior and senior years of high school. We did everything together from hanging out at the local Wendy’s to people watching at the Atlanta airport to spending too many weekends to count water skiing at West Point Lake. The guys played summer league baseball so we spent tons of time traveling to watch them play and I have to say it fostered my great love for men in baseball pants… I mean the sport of baseball. Anyway, two of the guys in our group have sons on this year’s Trojan football team, Jeff Turner who was my junior prom date and dearest male friend, and David Hesterlee my first and longest crush who then became a great friend.

Nothing is quite as exciting as high football when you’ve got a dog in the hunt. While the playing days of my boys are over, I still remember the thrill and stress that came with having a son on the field. There was truly nothing I enjoyed more than watching my boys compete. Oh don’t get me wrong, it was hard when they lost… but when they won?? Pure unadulterated joy!

So this Saturday night, I will be watching the Carrollton Trojan football team vie for the state championship while keeping a particular eye on the Turner and Hesterlee boys. No, I never dreamed I’d ever be supporting the Carrollton Trojans but then again friends like I have, while miles away in body, are always close in my heart. GO BLACK AND GOLD!! (but I will always be a Central Lion at heart!)

We All Like To Talk

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Shocking truth but like most women, I like to talk… a lot. Sometimes I don’t even really have anything to say but still I talk.

 Remember that Run DMC rap song from the 80’s

You talk too much   You never shut up   I said, “You talk too much”   Homeboy you never shut up

 You talk about people, you don’t even know   And you talk about places, you never go   You talk about your girl, from head to toe   I said, “Your mouth’s moving fast and your brain’s moving slow”

 I’m afraid I knew 10 girls who could have inspired that song. (After all the thriving metropolis of Carrollton GA was filled with fodder for rap stars in the late 80’s.) Anyway, I know for certain there are moments in my life when I am THAT PERSON. I’ve been chatting with someone before and I could tell the other person had checked out. It was SO tempting to just start spouting random nonsense. Did I start talking about the alien landing I had just witnessed? No, I wanted to…. but I didn’t.  Usually I just stop talking all together and mark that person off my friend list. (Ok, not really- I just wanted to.) The truth here was that I was most likely spouting random drivel and it was time for me to just… be… quiet.

 Hear me out, cause this is important stuff. When we are talking with another person we are being given an opportunity to get to know that person. To hear about likes, dislikes, habits, family, work, any number of things but unfortunately our tendency is to spend more time thinking about what we’re going to say next rather than hearing what is being said.

 On the other hand, everyone has THAT friend who is a really good listener and whenever something happens you can’t wait to talk with them. Why? Because you know that they care. God in His infinite wisdom showed me that being a good listener is a gift. You are saying to someone else “You matter to me and I want to know what you have to say.” It made me think about those I’m closest to. They’re the ones who listen to me when I need it and who I listen to when they need it. I tease my Ansley because there have been girl’s weekends when I only talked for 30 minutes the entire 3 days because she had so much to say! (I may exaggerate, I’m sure I talked for an hour) Funny part is those were some of my favorite weekends.

Don’t get me wrong, I still talk way too much (and I have friends that would wholeheartedly agree) but I try to remember in the crazy, busy, plugged in world we all need a good friend who listens more than she talks… most of the time anyway! Truth? We don’t all like to talk….we all like TO BE HEARD.

 “To answer before listening- that is folly and shame.” Proverbs 18:13

(Yes, yes I did…. I started with Run DMC and ended with scripture… BAM!!)