What’s Really Important

As I was driving over to my niece’s house, I realized it’s almost Masters Week… and truly for the first time in ten years I have no idea the actual dates of the tournament. Even though last year was my first year not working there full time, it was still engrained in my brain because I worked about eighteen months out and it is hard to un-know something. But this year? I couldn’t tell you the actual dates for love nor money.
People ask me all the time if I miss working there and I can honestly say yes. Mainly because there are SO MANY people I worked with that I miss seeing on a daily basis and I truly loved what I did for almost all of the nine plus years I worked there. In all truth, there was a time when I could not wait to get in the car and head to work… I just could not believe that I got paid to do what I had so much fun doing with people I loved being with. When that changed, I began to realize that maybe it was time to move on…
The day Tim and I decided it was time for me to resign, I felt like a million pound weight had fallen off my shoulders. It was nothing that anyone else had done to me, simply put, I forgot that my job was not supposed to be the most important thing in my life. How in the world could I have gotten so mixed up that I put my job before God, my amazing husband, my three incredible sons and my wonderful family and friends?? Easy, the more attention I got from people because of what I did, the more important I thought I was…and that’s a HUGE problem my friends.
Now, I’m still pretty important but to a vastly different group of people. Mainly, my family. As I held my nieces brand new baby girl, I realized that were I still working I would have been far too busy to stop for a few hours and enjoy the newest member of our family. What a shame that would have been because Riley Kate told me that I’m her favorite Aunt Wendy… but let’s keep that between us, I wouldn’t want the her other aunts to be jealous!

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Masters Speak

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Those of you that have never lived in Augusta Georgia, have no idea what we mean when we talk about things like “Masters week”, getting our house “Masters ready”, and what we’re doing for “Masters”. When I first moved here, I noticed people didn’t talk about spring break, instead everyone talked about Masters Week. Masters Week?? What in the world was that? It didn’t take very long to realize that this entire area revolves around the Master Golf Tournament beginning many, many, many weeks before it. I mean all those people that come to the tournament have to stay somewhere, eat somewhere, and shop somewhere. Not to mention all the people that are employed for that one week by all the shops, restaurants, hotels, TV, news stations, newspapers, hospitality companies, etc.
In our own self-involved minds, we in the Augusta area just assume everyone understands what goes on here that week. Until we say something about Masters and someone says, “what in the world are you talking about?” Then I begin to explain such things as people renting their houses out for up to ten days to companies, players, or individuals and having to stock the house with all manner of things, plus extra bedding and towels for each room, scheduling maid service and unfortunately, hiding all Masters goods they aren’t willing to part with (because for some reason they tend to leave with the Masters guests at the end of the week… oh yes, that’s fun for everyone.)
There are two types of people who live in Augusta: the group that heads out of town for the week to avoid the chaos or the group that stays and finds a way to be smack dab in the middle of the craziness. I’m lucky to have been part of both groups and can truly say… I love the craziness!! If you’ve never been, I highly recommend you find a way… it really is a tradition unlike any other, a true world class event and should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list. Just don’t ask me to get you tickets!

Oh That Man of Mine!

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If there were an elected position for Mayor of the World my husband would win HANDS DOWN!! From the time we started dating until now, whenever (and wherever) we go out to eat Tim always winds up doing what I call “politicking.” Others may call it working the room or meet & greet but no matter what you call it, it is something he had always done. Usually when we enter the restaurant, he’ll tell me what to order him to drink because he realizes that I’m going to make it to the table WAY before him.

Don’t get me wrong, this does not bother me, it simply fascinates me. How does one man know so many people? No lie, we have traveled all around the world and no matter where we go, he runs into someone he knows. We’re not just talking Alabama and South Carolina here but Israel, Greece and Mexico just to name a few. It is really funny when you are walking around thousands of miles from home, and hear someone yell your husband’s name as they run up to hug him. Sometimes I know them but most times I’ve never even heard their name before.

My theory is that Tim is simply what you call a people person and to him life is all about relationships. Much like his mother whose hobby is socializing! Now after 24 years of wedded bliss, I find myself becoming more like him. My youngest and I headed out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant during Thanksgiving break and I’m sure he thought we were never going to get to our table simply because I kept running into people I hadn’t seen in a while…oops!! They say the longer you are married the more alike you become and frankly I’d consider myself lucky to be like him… well except for the lack of hair and goatee!

Dear All

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As I opened our first card of the Christmas season, I was reminded of my mother-in-law who is truly one of a kind. At the wonderful age of 91, she still has more life in her than some twenty year olds I know. When looking back on what makes her so full of life, I have come to the conclusion that it’s because she truly LOVES people. Some people read, others paint, still others love working with flowers but Mema, she socializes.

She spent many years writing what we call her “Dear All” letter every Thursday as she sat under the dryer at the beauty shop. No matter what was going on in her life (or the world for that matter) Thursday mornings at 9:00am Mema was at the beauty shop getting her hair done. I get the feeling that had any of her children tried to come into this world on a Thursday morning, she would have politely told them to wait… and I’m also quite certain they would have obeyed!!

But I digress, Mema’s “Dear All” letter went out to an untold number of people. One lucky recipient would get the original each week, while all the others would get a mimeograph copy. (I have to mention at this point that her handwriting, while a lovely script, was challenging to say the least and there was an innate sense of pride whenever I was able to decode an entire letter…yay me!) As technology advanced, she migrated to a “Dear All” email that while not written under the dryer was still sent out to scores of people (most I knew but some… still no clue) I loved the fact that she signed her letters “Ruth, Grandma, Mema, Ruppie” denoting the various names she was called by the multitudes in her life.

Yes, one thing Tim inherited from his mother is her love of people. If Ruth Reeve became your friend, she was your friend for life. She kept up with you and your children and your children’s children. Whenever we visited her in Carrollton, there was always time in the study for her to catch me up on all the goings on of the people in her life. In fact, Christmas was my favorite time to visit because I got to look at the hundreds of photo Christmas cards she and Papa received every year. (Not even exaggerating here people, HUNDREDS!!) So every year as Christmas cards begin to arrive, I am taken back to the kitchen in her house and all the time I spent over the years looking at all of the Christmas cards taped up on display. And Mema would not only take the time to tell me the names of every person on every card, she would also tell me about their relatives not on the card.

So I guess in my own way, this is my daily Dear All letter. Here’s hoping I can make half the friends in my lifetime that Mema made in hers.