Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Six of one…41 of another!

Many, many…..many years ago, a girl met a boy in a sandwich shop, on a dare, and because she liked the looks of him in his rugby shorts…she got the nerve to talk to him while he was at the jukebox! This sounds like 1950’s B movie but it was’t, although if felt that sweet. It was a sweet time, all the firsts and all the feels….like a rollercoaster! So it began, the beginnings of a long love that continues today.

But, back to the story.. the start was in August, first date, first kisses(there were many) first love, the best of the best. It was a beautiful fall on that college campus and we never knew what would become of it. Zip ahead to October, we are still “a thing” and my birthday is here, another “first” happened! My beautiful blonde boy sent me Roses!!! never have I ever been sent roses or any flowers ever! This guy was a keeper I thought and I was correct! The day of my birthday we had a date, and when he left I politely thanked him for the six(6) red roses….. he was at his car in the street… and all of a sudden he exclaimed…”6!!!!!! There was supposed to be a dozen(12)!!!!!! He threw his keys down and began to fuss at the mistake! The florist had to have gotten it wrong… I was shocked yet laughing at his display of loving angst!

Finally I said….”was it really supposed to be a dozen?” He laughed a lot and said NO! But he wanted it to be!! Laughing he got into the car and left! I was hooked!! This guy was hilariously pulling me into the best decision I would ever make. You gotta love a guy that goes to such measures. The sweetest part of the story was to be heard later.

This boy of mine had um…frugal parents! So to earn the cash for the roses… he wrote a letter to them( planned ahead btw) and asked for the money to buy a girl flowers and he would work it off next time he came home! Which he did….he had to dig potato’s in the garden!!! His Mom kept the letter which I still have, this guy was so dedicated to me he was willing to earn the money however he could. And he was willing to owe them for it which was HUGE! So the amount of money they sent was only enough for a half a dozen, hence the exclamation to make it sound better, quick thinker as he was and even a funnier brain, but it did the trick! I was sunk! I loved this guy!

Now..41 years later, after many , many, many dozens of roses and flowers of all sorts, many more beautiful gifts and blessings and love, this big romantic sends me forty-one(41) yellow roses! I love yellow the most, he listens.. he knows and they are gorgeous! I have never matched him on gift giving… it’s an impossible task, and today is no different. I will never do it! I’ve tried but he’s too good. But I will say, I love this man! The blonde guy with the huge smile and the best sense of humor has been my heart for a little over 41 years. I could never repay him for all the joy he has brought me. Happy Anniversary my dear preacherman, April 24,1982 was a great day to begin so many great days!

Invasive surgery

Most people are usually thrilled with home improvement, I usually am also but this week has been an unusually annoying episode…HGTV it was not! My poor house has gone through a rough and tumble, insides turned out kind of surgery that was not only invasive but down right frustrating.

A year ago we had to replace the HVAC unit, (ouchie) but somehow it was still not right, weird stuff was wrong so I finally got the nerve to call for help, and when you see the people who know shaking their heads, we’ll let’s say this…double ouchie!

Monday morning at eight am, here they are, starting the reconstruction of the insides of my sweet house, cutting a hole in my ceiling and pulling out sixty plus years worth of old insulation, asbestos anyone? The amount of dust from the adventure is insurmountable. May I repeat.. insurmountable and it won’t go away. They had to build the new ductwork and cram it through the tiny holes to the attic and the next day project would be to install it while removing the old huge heavy filthy ductwork. It took five full days to do this job.

What a labor intensive job, for which you could not pay me enough to do, four different men moving through every inch of my house, each one of them attempting to talk to me, to be pleasant but I was not playing along. Actually I was pretty rude as I sat the farthest spot away from them covered in a blanket with Leo the cat huddled with me. I was so anxious about them in my house. This is my sanctuary, I tried so hard to do all repairs before we moved in so this was not a issue but nope, stuff breaks and when we got the new unit it was new and improved and the ductwork was not sufficient.

So here I am frustrated by the whole thing and not using my happy face, Jesus wouldn’t be very proud of me, I was not proud of me but eventually we got through it by four thirty Friday afternoon. A full week of invasion with so many layers of dust and grime to deal with. It took me until Friday to figure out my real problem. I was sad and I was’t able to work through it, my daughter and precious Ellie moved at five am on that Monday morning, three hours before the invasion. I never had a moment to mourn!! Silly thing is, I am happy for them, selfishly I’m sad for me, my Ellie is my whole heart and I adore her. I’ve been with her since she got here, first one to hold her and I can’t get enough of her.

Truly I am happy for them and their new life, they are fine, I am fine. With the exception of all this dust or asbestos or sludge or whatever has infiltrated my world. I finally got their rooms back in shape today, I didn’t have to be up ready for workman, I got to take my time, I had a week of my time was not my own, I had forgotten how hard that is. I may be a little spoiled, I probably need therapy, I’m sure I need an emotional support gift.

Booo! Hooo!

I don’t think I have ever really explained my disdain for Halloween …so here goes. Only a few words in a facebook post, not wanting to offend nor point fingers or even to make anyone feel as if I judge their decision to partake.. I mean it’s all in good fun, right? Sure, I get it, I was a kid once.

Growing up on a farm with other houses a “fur piece” away, my mom only took us to my granny’s house and then it wasn’t actually a “trick or treat” adventure. It was more of a harvest festival time. Our small school, Murray School, out on Bradyville Pike, near Murfreesboro, TN, every year had a Harvest Festival. It was the most fun we had ever had. All the kids and parents were there, it was decorated for harvest time, hay bales and all. There were classrooms that each one had a different activity, my favorite was fishing for a prize! I was the best at this one and I always thought my Aunt Lois was the brains behind the operation. I’m not sure if that was true or just in my made up world but, nevertheless it was magical! Music was always playing and great food to eat. There was a huge cake walk in the Gym and my sisters and I walked to win.

So many good memories of that night, and never scary except I have one memory of a clown!! This was not good and super scary, clowns are scary by definition. This was hard for my young brain because I actually adored BOZO the clown on TV, as well as Red Skeleton but, he was on TV also, not face to face in my world, this clown startles me and that was it, I was ranking clowns right after snakes. The popcorn balls and candy apples made life better but that first fright stuck with me.

Later in my life at about ten we moved into the city. Oh my goodness kids walked the neighborhood…alone dressed up in costumes asking for free candy. That’s gotta be fun right? I’m sure my big imagination knew that there was a clown hanging around just waiting to scare me again, so I was not a fan, later years I would go out with my big sisters and it was more fun, less scary. Still not my thing though.

Further on into middle school high school ages I had good friends and slumber parties and great fun… but, this one time the girls wanted to talk about the Bell Witch that was a legend near that area, there may have been a time of conjuring up her spirit and seeing her creepy eyes on the wall. Jesus help me.. it happened! That was the last slumber party for me! I was timid in those years, real life had too many scary times and I had no hunger to be fearful for fun. In high school it was a thing to go to the house of the Bell Witch or a cave or not sure of it all, for which I was in a car and these kids wanted to find it.. nope! Not this girl, take me back .. they didn’t but I sat in car scared. They came back with no luck finding her.. whew thank you!

Zip ahead many years, I found my love, married and moved away. Then I met Jesus! I was home and safe but, one day I saw those eyes again … oh my was it the Bell Witch? Was it my imagination? Was I truly officially crazy? I’m not sure yet….but I spent many nites praying for it to go away. I had my first baby, I will protect him, many nights of prayer, feeling stupid, I finally told my husband who was kind about it, did he marry a witch? Did I become a witch and didn’t know it? Good grief my imagination is out of control! Thankfully NO I wasn’t a witch but I did have these crazy remembering that I needed to overcome and with the Lords help I did. I give Him the praise for calming my mind and heart. Anxiety can be a tool that can cripple a person, I had more back then, as I grew in the knowledge and understanding of what Jesus died for, for Me, it was in the Comfort of knowing the truth I became stronger to not live in such fears and anxiety. The what ifs will drive a person crazy, as well as realizing that I’m not the center of the universe..that helps. Pride is a huge blockade in freedom.

My children never partook in trick or treating, dressing up or any of the festive things this time of year. Mean mom I know but really? Did it hurt them, they heard about it at school and all. Our church had parties to off set Halloween in the name of Jesus, good clean fun ya know! I was not going to ruin other people’s fun but for mine it was a big NO! Their innocent minds did not need to be scared all the time. The kids eventually asked Why and I told them that it was the one holiday that had no good basis. Nothing to give honor to, nothing to give praise to or for. All Hallows Eve, it was all unnerving and suspicious. An open invitation to scare the heck out of all involved!

The kids grew up no worse for the wear, they didn’t hate me for it, by the time my youngest was older I allowed him to go out with his friends in our neighborhood but no dressing up. They got candy and came home.. I got nicer or older knowing that he would be ok. Peer pressure works! Still not onboard for it. As a church we have had to offer an alternative of course but I was not ever very GunHo about it. I’d apologize for it but I won’t since I didn’t make a fuss. This was my feelings, was I living in fear, was I allowing fear to rule me? No!

Why do we partake in a “holiday” that is not a holiday, to be honest. The Banks don’t close, the Federal Government does not close up shop! even Valentines Day has a Saint involved, of course it’s a stretch but it’s not spooky or scary unless you are single and then we’ll yeah! But anyways I’m just not a fan. What if it is the day all the “real witches” live for? What if there are predators who hide and wait for our pretty little blonde kids? What if the Demonic powers of the world are real ( they are!) there is a real Devil who fell from Heaven and it has minions of helpers! Why even get near it. I’m not trying to preach so I’ll keep it light.. but, have you seen The Omen, the Exorcist, Rosemarys Baby( the dreaded movie that kids made terrible fun of me about) and even Children of the Corn!! If you wonder why I have seen all these movies if I am such a scaredy cat, be cause as a kid it happens, not always my idea of fun.

Look what you get when young hearts are open to that junk.. ME! Thankfully I was led to the one who calmed all my fears and It was my job to protect my children from this underworld of fear. I did my job well, none of them enjoy scary stuff, although my daughter will venture in some scary movies, probably out of just because she can and it is with her if I ever have watched anything close to scary… but, I did my job, none of them were ever kidnapped by a scary clown! Now I just have to attempt to protect my granddaughter from afar. She likes to dress up for which Is ok with me but not scary stuff , dressing up is not evil, it can be fun they say!

So Halloween is not my favorite.. so what, I’m not the rule maker, but I won’t usually participate. That Is my choice, it’s all about choice right? Y’all have fun, I will continue down the Christmas Movie rabbit hole! Falalalala!

Never have I ever….

I start this off with the words, never have I ever because it is how I felt all weekend. I do know what the phrase makes one think, the silly party game that people play but for me it is a thought of awe. I have been in awe of my beautiful life I have.

I know how that sounds, purely insipid and fake but it is actually true. They say to take time to smell the flowers but when do you ever, here in this crazy, busy world do we have the time. I suppose it may be because our kids are adults now, I’m not sure, but I know that when they are around it is the best of times.

While raising kids is the most magical time, watching them go through all the hard as well as fun twist and turns of growing up is one of those Olympic like sports that we all pray to get them past, when they are adults it’s so much more fun. This weekend they made the trip to the Burg to visit the old Mom, she turns a year older( hate when that happens!) but they honor me so much. Now that we live in this great house, though in the smack dab of the city it has enough yard to feel like a holiday resort.

My eldest built us a fire pit, the closest I ever come to camping since I have no wish to ever camp. Side bar: I grew up on a farm for the first ten years of my life, I loved my farm and my life as a kid there, barefoot and stringy blonde hair flying in the wind, but until age eight-ish we had NO INDOOR BATHROOM! Yep! A glorious stinky out house, so camping is out of the question for me, I’ve camped! But, a campfire in the back yard is the best invention and now since I got old again, my family went to the Amish and brought me a swing in a stand to sit and swing right by that beautiful fire. The best of both worlds…. With indoor plumbing.

When all the boys got home, we had a fire, they threw the frisbee’s down the hill to the frisbee golf net, they grilled the best chicken, boiled the best shrimp, and enjoyed a homemade banana pudding ( my Moms, recipe made by my oldest son, so she was with us too) this Mom could have ever asked for. How lucky am I? All I did was enjoy it. Taking in the moments and realizing how blessed I am. When they are little you wonder if we will survive!

The next day was a lot of lounging and throwing the football and frisbees around the still smouldering log, it still smelled so good, I sat on the swing and watched with my preacherman, both of us full with love watching these boys laugh and play. There all are still like twelve ten and five right! After, full with anticipation of “the big game!” (Yes, I ordered the chicken wings ahead of time) all so we can be ready to watch the University of Tennessee play Alabama and did we ever. This has to be the best football game I have ever watched… of course not that I on purpose watch football, only when my family does, but this was different. There had been a fifteen year dry spell .. Alabama is and has been a great team and kills us every year. Not this year SATAN!

Whew.. UT sweatshirts, tee shirts, hoodies and orange UT socks as well as baseball caps all in place and it was up and down the whole game, by the end my men were standing nearly the whole last half.. pacing back and forth, the preacherman retreated to his “hole” ( office) to listen and try to bring us luck.. I kept believing, hoping and praying for these kids who are playing their hearts out on that field. We almost had a group heart attack several times, we got quiet…then boom back on top again! It was fun! And just at the time we are fearing the worse… it happened.. they did it!! We won! What a kick, and the crowd goes wild! Fireworks and all, my boys jumped and hugged, preacherman came out of his hole and hugged them they are all screaming!

So, never have I ever had such a great weekend! There are tons of people with the same stories I know, these days of my life I take the time to watch and make note of the goodness of God. He got us here and I know that. My children are alive and thriving, they all love each other and actually love to be with each other, that in itself is an accomplishment. They are each others bff’s and we missed our girls or I know I did. Our daughter has left the pack to create her own pack as she should. But if I could she would live just down the road also, but we had her with us, on the phone, and our hearts and she and Ellie always will be. That was the only glitch in the wonderful weekend wheel but thanks to technology we talked constantly! Not the same but good for now.

These times keep us going, I’m old enough now to feel the feels my Mom did, watching her kids go to and fro, hoping they visit soon. I’m old enough to enjoy the birthday cards I received, knowing that some one thinks I’m special enough to remember. I’m old enough to just sit watch the leaves fall and never want to leave; I can waste away the hours keeping watch of the bird feeders seeing if we get a woodpecker or hopefully a bluebird! I’m old enough to know that I have been blessed to live near my children this long, I see why family’s “clan up“ and live on top of each other, nothing like it.

Never have I ever had so much fun, living my life in appreciation of who I am and who we, me and the preacherman have created. The life in ministry can be a struggle and it is, our kids have endured more than expected, it’s not their fault to be our kids, but I feel like they are the better, they know the real needs and real Jesus. It’s not a show and it’s a life of service. They too are servants, they have kindness and treat people well and to honor. Never have I ever dreamed I would have this life, but I do and I am forever grateful.

One year later

One year ago today, October 5th, we purchased our home. One year later, I see the blessing in it all. Not that I didn’t already know, but as I sit here watching all the wildlife just in our back yard, our un-secret garden is a wonderland for so many birds, bees, butterflies; squirrels and groundhogs and to take the time to watch them work, is one of the most satisfying activities for the preacherman and myself.

When we knew we wanted to own our own home again after living seven years in the parsonage, the search began…. Something that I love to do… the hunt is all the fun! After a few maybes, I found it.. the one….the “only one!” But someone else found it also..grrrrr. They beat us out, better offer and such. I was sad but since I know that the lord is in control ( with me helping of course!) I just sucked it up, and let it go. Like a grown up, mature adult!

Does anyone know me? If you do you are laughing now because I had already decided that house was mine.. my sister and I had already thoroughly looked at it on line and in person, we arranged the furniture, planned the new flowers to plant, had visions of sugar plums dancing In our heads, already. This house was my house! I just needed the other people who rudely gave a better offer to back out.. it could happen! Maybe it will I prayed, maybe they will decide to not move her from the far off land they were moving from, silly out of staters! I let my realtor know I was here hoping and praying, I let her know ( several times, on the daily). Poor women who I only met house-hunting, who would eventually regret it I’m sure, has been pestered ( texted) to death by me.

Zip ahead a really long month, what’s taking them so long.. move in already or take down your sign y’all, nothing was happening there, not that I checked every day( that was not me driving around the block…noo! ) but, if this house is getting bought something needs to show it! No “pending “ sign or nothing! Ugh my impatience is in overdrive because no other house compares to this one, they all are just okay. Nothing special homes are a dime a dozen in the world and it was becoming obvious that I was going to be stuck with one.. once again I ask.. do you know me?

So one Tuesday I let my realtor know ,again, that if something should happen to cause the buyers to “change their minds” please tell them we want first dibs! Well, this was about the third time I had relayed this info as if she’s dumb or didn’t hear me or anything that could cause her to not know this obviously ridiculous request. It is a beautifully cool house how could they not want it? …. BUT.. the next day, on a Wednesday morning, the preacherman and I were at the church, praying never ceasing, interceding for the whole world, doing all the real Jesus stuff ya know… (ha!) and my phone rings!! She says… “ you are not going to believe it!!! They backed out!!” After much jumping up and down I reply.. calmly.. ( not) “ oh really, why?”…. Apparently they had to be in by a certain date and the repairs they needed done could not be done in time.. so they changed their minds!!!!!!!!

Then, we had to come back with our best offer, within a few hours.. they accepted and it was ours!! Holy smokes! Did y’all see that, the Lord moved a mountain! I immediately cried because all that hope became real time, the real life God, gave us the dream. Not free of course but He supplied the capabilities to do this. I will forever know that this was a huge long shot, my realtor I think was also shocked, bless her heart, she worked for it, and continued to, during our laborious process, impatience on my part. I’m sure it wasn’t that bad? Hmmm, I kid, I kid! Now I know I was annoying to her, but she’s a friend now( I think) and we have had better days since then, I randomly text her over silly stuff and she actually answers back.

One year ago today, our family got our home, it is like a vacation home really, the most relaxing place on earth. It’s hard to leave it, the yard is a wonderful display of nature, we have added flowers and solar lights for the new paths, the screened porch is my favorite place besides the sunroom like windows in the family room where Leo the cat and Leesi the dog, watch all the activities outside with me. Today, the groundhog has the nerve to waddle right onto our side patio, sit up and snack on acorns from the huge trees we are blessed with and smirk at our inside animals… probably with pity! I honor the life in the yard, I honor the people who built this house in 1955… I honor the sweet lady who lived in and loved it for so long last.

Thank you to all who came before us, we will try our best to take care of it and enjoy the nature all around us. This is not a brag, in all humility I am thankful for the opportunity to be the caretaker for a little while. We are smack dab in the middle of this little city, in one of the original subdivisions but it feels like we are in the country. We are surrounded by joy and on this day I honor the day that we became caretakers of this special place. I know I can be a bit dramatic about it but seriously it is spectacular! Thank you Lord and a preacherman that follows my heart with me. We both are such bird nerds now. But so much fun!

The Measure of a Man

There is nothing more profound, than listening to the family of a loved one who has gone on to their final reward. It’s usually very sweet and sad and the recognition of their value to the people in the family is moving and reminds us to cherish our own tribe. We all can relate. Today was such a day, to give honor and respect to a person who deserves it. The cool thing was, his whole life pointed to Jesus, such a profound testimony of Gods love and providence.

I met this man, forty years ago, I married his nephew(aka..the preacherman) and at first I really did’ t know him well, he was more “reserved “ than his other uncles. Meeting this family was sort of a right of passage for us in laws, where, when it is a huge family like this, they all kinda have to see if you are up to the challenge… as others who married into the fold, I also was teased and could take their good natured fun because the joke was on them… I got my cute guy and a precious family to boot.

I so enjoyed getting to know them all and they accepted me and they never knew how much I longed for it. This particular uncle like I said was not as vocal to me. He was a little intimidating too but I loved his wife, the Aunt, she was at that time a little easier to know than my new mother In law, the fear factor was not there! She was kind and loving and they both were very sweet. But, I did’ t really know them well, until today. His wife left us too early and he was left alone for a short time and met and married a precious woman.

I had heard different tall tales about this particular uncle, but since I was not involved with him daily I just knew he was a good man. His children were my friends and still are, I secretly wanted to be a part of their branch of the family , there were a lot of them and I adored them all. The daughters all taught me so much as a young bride and I have wonderful memories. But until today I never knew the magnitude and reach of this very kind uncle. To say I’m impressed would be understated, but not so much with his humanity but with his willingness to follow God at a really young age and stick to it.

His testimony is somewhat amazing, I heard the real tall tales and they lived up to all the hype. I’m sure he was as carnal as us all, so l’m sure he spanked his children and probably yelled a time or two at his wife … I’m sure he did not always make the right choices.. but today I would be hard pressed to see the bad. His generation were not sissy’s…he married at fourteen!! And lived to tell that tale, even though his new father in law had a gun and wanted to thrash him! He had five children all before he was probably 20 and change.. whew! Finished school as well as college and went on to work so hard to become a very wealthy man.

The trick was… he committed his life to serve God… at that young age… he never wavered and the Lord used him to support missionaries world wide as well as at home, he supported his church denomination and pledged to give out of his increase, one million dollars within twenty years… for which he did in seven years!! I’d say that was just the first of millions. How can you out give God? You just can’t actually and he proved that over and over. His willingness to put the Lord first in every aspect of his life is few and far between these days, and even more he blessed his family… I don’t believe he was stingy with his love and provision for them.

So what Is the measure of a Man… just look for the signs and you will see, not the man but Jesus. Jim Hamilton, Sr. Is recipient of a greater reward that his life on earth could never compare to. But to only live with such intention to serve and be used to the greater works of the Lord on this earth, I honor him today. I only wish that I had known him more. I’m blessed though because I am a part of this family who showed me the Love of God. I will always be thankful… my preacherman was adopted into it and so was I. I can only praise the Lord for our elders who made the way straight for us.

Thank you Lord for the reminder to stay on course, be intentional to serve, and testify of the goodness of God.

Only the lonely

I have always wondered how we can be lonely in a crowd. It seems to be a paradox and in my logic, utterly ridiculous. I do tend to think in black and white so the thought of lonesomeness in my big family is not a thing. But…. Who knew?

Without any kind of warning, I have been overwhelmed by the feeling of being lost. Not to compare to the feeling “of loss” for which would be even more frightening and I would not compare myself to one that has lost their husbands or wives or God forbid a child. My feelings of loss are far different and a bit ridiculous if I say so myself! No one has died! Get a grip! But, nonetheless I still have a lonesome heart.

If you know me, you know my constant clammer of …”why did we have so many people in our house at one time…. All these kids……why can’t they grow up….why do I have to be the one that looks after them all…. Why me Lord?….. whaaa! whaaa! whaaa!”I mean I’m tired of my own self! Okay I don’t think I was constant but I had a few days of frustration as any mother does. Then, throw in this little granddaughter in the mix.. she was a joy but Lordy she was a lot of stuff .. everywhere.. all over .. little bits and pieces, from stickers to legos to Barbies. One little person with such a personality and imagination(my granddaughter is more wonderful than yours ya know! Ha)that has changed my life for the better. I will never regret her living with us, we had that blessing with us for seven beautiful years, as well as her Mom, our beautiful daughter.

There is the rub… they moved… to another galaxy far, far away, to another galaxy actually only Florida but, it seems like a whole different planet! They are waaaayy down on the east coast, not the gulf coast that I could drive in six hours, ugh! I really am good with this move, it’s wonderful for them and I am excited for them to start their own life out from under us. It’s a good thing and needed to happen. They are safe and secure as they can be in this crazy world so I have no complaints nor fears. But…. I miss them, I miss my daughter so much. I have felt a sense of loneliness that has surprised me. I have been caught completely off guard. Who knew this mother would feel such loss over something so good. Actually our relationship could not be better now, I have my long awaited revenge.. her telling me things like..”how did you raise your kids?”… “good grief, how did you cook dinner every nite as well as breakfast and all the constant looking after it all!” It’s so funny how that happens, i told my Mom the same thing! The Circle of Life of course is still rolling as it should be, but I had never felt the loneliness. Until now.

I now understand my moms face when we would visit and leave. I get the sad smile. She was always so happy when me and my family would come to visit, she made it fun and fed us extraordinary food( long live the best chicken n dumplings forever) we basically took over and spread out and created chaos. She loved it and I’m sure so happy to get things back in order when we left… I know now she was also sad. It reminds me of visiting my Granny Maxwell and her smiling so big and asking me to just stay a little longer, her smile would be a little sad also when I left. Why did I not go more? If only I could go back to her house and my Moms. Now I am the mom and granny (Mamaw) and my smile turns sad also. Ugh that darn circle of life is a killer!

I realize I am more lonesome for my daughter, she was the only girl, she gets me, although we could fight like two wet hens, which my preacherman never understood to this day, we could go at it and in the next breath crack up laughing or slam a door and come back talking it out. We always knew where we stood, she knew she could tell me the hard stuff and I her, it’s like keeping a short list with God, then you don’t have to spend the first hour repenting so much, He knows anyways! We became friends and that is the greatest blessing of all. (I have that with my three boys too, I could not live any other way!) But I sure do miss this girl, I am lonesome without her and yes I should have appreciated the battle more.

I am really fine, I’m not crying you are crying! But I do feel the loss and have been attempting to fill the gap. Leaving my comfort zone and searching out friends. It is difficult when you are older… hang on to those friends people, they become few and far between and especially for people like us, in full-time ministry, it’s harder, we are perfect ya know and most people don’ t want to try to live up to our perfectness!! Pleeeeeaaasssse, Jesus knows better and so do I! I am probably more human than most of you out there in the “perfect”church world, you just don’t realize it. I just never realized how I depended on my kids, especially my daughter for friendship, I could have sworn they were the enemy! But it is okay.. I will get through this tribulation period(ha) and find my way.

On a good side note, I am painting more and reading and enjoying my home… but I’d give it all up to have a good girl talk! Reminds me how much I miss the preachermans Sister, she was my best friend until she went to the Lord. I will always be thankful for those few years with her, I have been blessed with several women who I have connected with over the years, who I hate to name because I’m sure there are those who would be hurt lololol( jk…Cheryl, Jane, Denise, Pilar, Karen, Sue, Trina…..) others some not so close but not to leave out my two Pillars of courage, my sisters, Sharon and Jan, that I could never live without and we do talk nearly daily which is most precious to me.

Maybe I needed to learn compassion or it’s just the way life is.. regardless it ain’t easy, like the preacherman s grandmother would say, “ getting old ain’t for sissy’s!” And I tend to be a sissy way too much! But, tomorrow is another day and I will forge ahead knowing my daughter is happy and my granddaughter is doing great and I will survive it all. They too will feel this loss in their own lives, I’ll be there to tell them “ I told you so!” Hee hee!

……did I say thank you yet?

This weekend started with a surprise whisking away for a few days of R&R, to celebrate and take a moment to acknowledge a great accomplishment, two kids got married on this day forty years ago( yeah, that’s forty!!) and they are aware of what a blessing that is.

Where do ya go for such a tribute? Sometimes you have to go where you have never been! Perfect…..let’s go see where Elvis was born! More southern what could be better… and the glorious Natchez Trace is a beautiful way to travel into Mississippi.

We get the two and a half hours( gotta love short driving trips) check in and hit a wonderful Mexican Restaurant… so fresh and good! If you are ever there go!

….then, nothing better than a visit to the birthplace of The king! Little k, not the big K! You can’t get to Bethlehem in 2.5hrs, so we saw the little k…. Elvis! His little home he was born and his little church he attended and a huge gift shop!

A beautiful drive around the metropolis of Tupelo then on to a little shopping … score…. And because I’m old now a little nap to recharge… then off to a nice dinner and plan for the next day… to Oxford, MS! But first…. Who wants to go to the ZOO? We do! Probably the most fun of all( almost) unless you are me and my husband of 40 yrs thinks it’s funny to roll down the window when a huge frightening Camel comes to see if I have food! It was funny and true to form but scared the you know what out of me.. but a drive in zoo is really cool.

This was a fun detour before Oxford.. which was not only so fun and my preacherman never laughed so hard! We sure missed our kids especially our Ellie! But on to the cool little town around Ole Miss…, for which when we got there it was covered up with people.., walking .. tons of them toward the square.. where I love to look at.. we landed smack dab in a once a year Arts festival! But we forged through to drive around Ole Miss, wow that would be a cool school to attend! Southern towns and colleges are just gorgeous! Once we maneuvered our way out of the sea of people we looked for lunch and wandered upon a terrific pizza place! Best pizza since our beloved Big Eds in East Tn, and my favorite Sir Pizza in Murfreesboro,TN… it was soooo good. Go there if you are ever in Oxford, MS.

Next up was a tour of William Faulkner’s home-Rowan Oak ( He is the Pulitzer Prize winning Southern Author) Wowie! I loved it! I loved reading him, the house was old Antebellum and super cool. I may have stolen a few rocks (small) for remembering and two magnolia leaves to press… a very interesting place full of all the good feels, my preacherman had been there during a two weeks college tour he made of the Deep South so it was extra cool.

So on to the rest of our day, seeing the sights to see, my patient preacherman taking turns and twists wherever I wanted to go, I love big old houses, I think we have prettier ones here in Tennessee!FYI! Our evening was sweet, good food and even better company. I would be hard pressed to have better company. He spoiled me, was patient and only wanted to love me. If anyone wants to know why we have such a long marriage? Here’s your answer…. He only wants to love me, and I him. Jesus is on the center and we are normal. We aren’t infallible… we have our moments but at our core is the everlasting love that knows no fear. We will not be moved… and we look forward to many more years of just cruising around, seeing what to see. We are blessed and we know it. Happy Anniversary my sweet man. I know how lucky I am!

Empty nesting

Most of the time I am pretty content in my life, I can spend my time any way I want to usually…with in reason. I’m a grownup ya know! Since our four children grew up, that’s the way it’s been and it is the gift the Lord gives you for a “job well done!”…or some kind of yadda yadda!

The only catch is (for which I did not see coming!)…the dreaded grand kid… they don’t tell you what this one little kid can do to you. It’s a scam I tell ya! You assume you are all finished.. the fretting, the worry, the knowing that at any given second there could be a huge explosion or landslide or any equally torrential act of God that could take your precious children to heaven sooner than you want.. or at least cause a trip to the emergency room! No one warns you about the next level.. the grandchild…the even more gut wrenching fears that are so absurd they don’t even make movies about it. How do we survive it?

I have been so blessed to have my beautiful granddaughter right next to me.. for seven wonderful years…..the hugs and kisses and jam hands have been a way of life .. everyday. The glue.. the sparkles..the stickers all over every thing you own; a never ending amount of sippy cups and drink boxes and goldfish cracker smashed in all the nooks and crannies of the couch as well as too much candy and the inevitable puke session to follow. And that’s only the good stuff! My sweet girl was always sitting too close to me, always screaming “MAMAW” when I came home and running so fast to me she nearly knocked me down. I would Buy her so much stuff that one child could never play with it all, spoiling her so bad her mother had her hands full. I’m sorry( not sorry)

But now she is gone…. Far away in a far off land. She moved .. they moved…for some reason she wanted to go with her Mom.. I mean she had me, her Mamaw and even better her Papa! But she wanted to move away .. I mean you spoil a kid rotten and they turn on you.. what nerve. She is perfectly happy too! What gives.. hot beautiful weather, the beach a swimming pool, Target and Chick-fil-A only down the street! So what.. I mean if you like that kind of stuff? I do wish a Chick-fil-A would pop up here in the ‘Burg!

Of course I’m happy for her and her Mom( don’t get me started on her Mom) there’s not enough words to express my missing her.. I’m not crying, you’re crying! I’ll move on. They are on an adventure of a lifetime, they are happy and safe; they are good. Even more than that I know that my Lord is with them, taking care of them better than I can. I had to come to the place of understanding and reminded myself that God loves them even more than I do. He has brought them this far, He has kept us all from the tricks of the devil. He has assured me that my babies and also my grandchildren will be of His highest priority.

So this empty nest I am in is even more empty, more than it’s ever been. (By the way, I ain’t hating it!)(did I say that out loud?) It’s ok, thankfully we have “face time” for which my granddaughter who I know adores me sits and plays a game ignoring me as she face times me.. um you called me missy! Oh well, I see her beautiful smile and her gorgeous hair that I love to touch and kiss her head. I know she loves me as much as I love her, she’s a tough little girl and I know the next time I see her in person she will probably be bored with me pretty quickly. These days 7 is more like 12 yrs old and I’ll be okay because I know I had those first 7 years( I had to share her with everyone else but I made sure I was at the top of her pyramid…. Most days!

I thank the Lord for my nest, my preacher bird, for my baby birds and for my sweet little chickadee. She is in good hands, with her sweet Mom, taking steps in faith for a wonderful life. They got this and even more Gods got them. I still miss the hound out of them!

A change

This is a torrid tale of a hot pink bathroom that was larger than life and a room with a view. there was a change coming and it was the greatest pleasure to watch it unfold. Home repair/redo/rehab is not the cool cable show that I watch..or is it! After the finished product, like childbirth, the memory tends to waiver and all you know is the satisfaction of it being done. I am now a few weeks out, past labor.. past the aches and pains for which were all worth it with the only bad memory I have is the actual moving day. This is a memory I choose to forget, it all didn’t make the trip, I dropped the ball on a few important items that I think I donated. Shhhh, let’s not talk about it anymore!

Fiddle-de-dee as Scarlet O’Hara said..enough of that, now some before and after! I do have pictures for which I can’t figure out how to add, still working on it. This house is like living in a super cool vacation home. It is gorgeous.. it is old, but still lovely.

Hot pink and black
But look how pretty now!
To this!
Kitchen divider poles….
No poles and a walnut butcher block counter!
My lovely view!
My beautiful screened porch
My beautiful granddaughter spying on the squirrels
New walls with shiplap.. yeah I’m cool too!
New office for the preacherman
I could not love a room more..even still cluttered!
Such a pretty view
Cute pendent lights

Ok so not finished yet but what is, I’m loving. So just a tidbit of my story…one day Better Homes and Gardens will be knocking to do a full layout I bet! Until then I’ll just lounge in the home where my heart is….me and my preacherman!


I am thankful to my husband who saw my vision, to my oldest son( handyman) who put his blood, sweat and tears into our new home, and to the rest of my family who dreamed with me. A girl can’t live without her sister(s) and daughters and sons who help so much. Most of all, my Jesus who provides all I could ever ask for or need.