The lonesome year…….in Honor of my friend


In a few short days the one year anniversary of the death of one of my closest friends will be upon me. She was more than a friend, she was my preacher man husbands sister. From the first time I met her I made it my goal to win her over…..since I have two sisters of my own, I know girls and I knew pretty quick she was a contender.

She was a few years older than my preacher man which was fine until I realized she was my age. I am older also than him……which was not a problem…he was taller!(the logic I had back then!!) To him though, she was the dreaded big sister…and that was pretty much their relationship. This was going to be an uphill battle.

But, it turned out that it was pretty smooth. Me being a person who always wanted to be liked and her need to be the boss of him (not really, but she was already the enemy and I was soon becoming a traitor!)I think in his eyes at least I was on treacherous ground. It was understandable since in ALL families the kids are some days on the same side and on other days mortal enemies. Nothing so shocking about that. I am from a family of four kids…and we had four kids…….drama times four!

We did become fast friends and spent the next nearly thirty years, raising our kids, talking on the phone every day(thank you Lord for the invention of call waiting, that was about the death of me)since to get through the day we had long conversations about anything from baby rashes to the world news and everything in-between. Some days we would venture out of the house to tour the local Wal-Mart or fast food kid meals and playgrounds. Yep we had a big life….oh me!

Our families would hang out and we would cook great suppers and play cards and visit and compare our husbands. The rub was that mine was her baby brother….like I said treacherous grounds. But with many good and bad days…fights and fusses….prayers and intercession we were tight. Our lives were inter-twinned. She was my people….. my sister just as much as my two blood sisters and in the adult time of my life I was with her more.

So after one year with out her I can honestly say it has been hard. It wasn’t fair…we didn’t have enough time. There wasn’t enough time for her to spend with her grande babies. No one loved babies more than her. Where I liked only my kids…mostly, she loved to play with all babies(weird!) but sweet of her. Those grand babies were her heart after her two boys who were her pride and joy. She loved her boys and she was such a better sports mother than me….she was at every event, no matter the distance. In my defense…three kids on three different fields…..exhausting!

I could tell funny stories for days about our adventures, we were a cross between Lucy and Ethel and Laverne and Shirley; many stories are too unmentionable(funny as well as gross!) but most of them were silly, just like we were. We have shopped on the curbs of the finest homes(they leave their “junk” out there to be picked up)(we were recyclers before it was cool)and did every craft that was in style. She would call and say…”you up Ethel?…..lets go eat breakfast after the kids go to school” and we would go….pony tails and sweat pants, we didn’t care.

My loss is in no way anything like that of her husband and boys, but it is my pain. I had the best friend for a time…we were brutal on each other as well as full of love. This has been a lonesome year for me. I cherish my friends and I cherish the time I had with her. I am not sad for her, she is healed and beautiful and happy and where she lived her life to go, in heaven worshiping her Savior. I would not want her to come back to the pain she felt before she passed. I know I will see her again.

So in tribute to her, I post her picture as my header for my blog. This is the place I share my heart and I wanted to honor her in some small way, my way. Jesus knows my pain and he has carried me through. We all have lost people in our lives, I am nothing special but this is my friend…my sister….so this is my way to honor her. If she was writing this she would say…don’t weep for me, give your heart to the Lord, follow HIM, He is the Way, Truth and the Life, He brings peace and he loves YOU!

This is what I say also……Jesus is the only way.

John 3:16
John 3:16 (Photo credit: Martin LaBar)
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Majestic Cornbread


class=”size-full wp-image alignright” style=”border:.1px solid black;margin:.1px;” src=”https://preacherswifeintheknow.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/cornbread-3.jpg?w=140″ alt=”Image” width=”140″ height=”104″ />They say the first step to recovery is admitting the truth…..so here I go…..I LOVE CORNBREAD!!! The problem is I don’t think I want to be free from my love affair with cornbread……..I just am not sure that it would even help. Some things only happen after prayer and fasting…..um ok….have not prayed about it…check! and I know I haven’t fasted…check! So what’s a girl to do?

The fact that I have been raised on cornbread doesn’t help any….yes Oprah I am blaming it on my Mother….and my Grandmother and all of the Aunts and family friends who have made this delicious addition to the southern feast we call….”family dinner!” Actually I really don’t so much blame them, I more over give them credit. The rich heritage I was raised on in the South is one that I am not ashamed of nor embarrassed by. We have the majestic southern cornbread……don’t be jealous!

ImageAny one can make it….but we southern girls do it best! My raisin’ taught me to use Lard…yikes! Thankfully I do not choose to do that. That is one small step in the right direction but its all downhill after that.

I do feel that you must have the correct equipment starting with the Iron Skillet. Or should I say a “seasoned” Iron Skillet. New ones can be used, but the first few batches may not be as good as the latter ones…..Also the oven has to HOT…not just hot but, REALLY HOT with a chunk of butter melting while the skillet is getting hot…..the skillet MUST be HOT before the batter goes in. The sizzle is the sound you listen for when you pour in the batter.

The skillet, in my mind is the only way to cook the bread, with one exception and only one. My Mom used to have this cute little IRON pan with six little corn on cob shaped individual…..precious, small cornbread muffin-type muffins. They were very crispy with a soft center and really cute. Gotta love old memories!

The cornbread cooks for about twenty minutes or so…I prefer it to be on the crispy side. There are times that I consider cooking dinners that go especially well with cornbread. I suppose that would be considered an addictive personality when you plan the meal around the bread? I can say honestly the bread is the star….yes I do love good bread. This is why I do not cook bread usually. Imagine if I did….I would be the size of “the broad side of a barn!!”….okay I know I am nearly there….shush!

The once, ever so often batch of cornbread is my guilty pleasure. But if I had to choose between bread and meat, I would choose bread! This is ridiculous considering my body type…proof is in the (puddin’!) or bread, so to speak, goes right to my middle! But on those few occasions when I am at a restaurant that has great bread or I make the occasional skillet of lovely cornbread, I allow myself to enjoy. You only live once, right? Slather on the butter……mmmmmmmmmmm!

Image

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Majestic Cornbread


class=”size-full wp-image alignright” style=”border:.1px solid black;margin:.1px;” src=”https://preacherswifeintheknow.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/cornbread-3.jpg?w=140″ alt=”Image” width=”140″ height=”104″ />They say the first step to recovery is admitting the truth…..so here I go…..I LOVE CORNBREAD!!! The problem is I don’t think I want to be free from my love affair with cornbread……..I just am not sure that it would even help. Some things only happen after prayer and fasting…..um ok….have not prayed about it…check! and I know I haven’t fasted…check! So what’s a girl to do?

The fact that I have been raised on cornbread doesn’t help any….yes Oprah I am blaming it on my Mother….and my Grandmother and all of the Aunts and family friends who have made this delicious addition to the southern feast we call….”family dinner!” Actually I really don’t so much blame them, I more over give them credit. The rich heritage I was raised on in the South is one that I am not ashamed of nor embarrassed by. We have the majestic southern cornbread……don’t be jealous!

ImageAny one can make it….but we southern girls do it best! My raisin’ taught me to use Lard…yikes! Thankfully I do not choose to do that. That is one small step in the right direction but its all downhill after that.

I do feel that you must have the correct equipment starting with the Iron Skillet. Or should I say a “seasoned” Iron Skillet. New ones can be used, but the first few batches may not be as good as the latter ones…..Also the oven has to HOT…not just hot but, REALLY HOT with a chunk of butter melting while the skillet is getting hot…..the skillet MUST be HOT before the batter goes in. The sizzle is the sound you listen for when you pour in the batter.

The skillet, in my mind is the only way to cook the bread, with one exception and only one. My Mom used to have this cute little IRON pan with six little corn on cob shaped individual…..precious, small cornbread muffin-type muffins. They were very crispy with a soft center and really cute. Gotta love old memories!

The cornbread cooks for about twenty minutes or so…I prefer it to be on the crispy side. There are times that I consider cooking dinners that go especially well with cornbread. I suppose that would be considered an addictive personality when you plan the meal around the bread? I can say honestly the bread is the star….yes I do love good bread. This is why I do not cook bread usually. Imagine if I did….I would be the size of “the broad side of a barn!!”….okay I know I am nearly there….shush!

The once, ever so often batch of cornbread is my guilty pleasure. But if I had to choose between bread and meat, I would choose bread! This is ridiculous considering my body type…proof is in the (puddin’!) or bread, so to speak, goes right to my middle! But on those few occasions when I am at a restaurant that has great bread or I make the occasional skillet of lovely cornbread, I allow myself to enjoy. You only live once, right? Slather on the butter……mmmmmmmmmmm!

Image

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“kickin it old school…..”


Just yesterday I was thrilled to make the connections and locate a dear friend from the old days. Gotta love that social media…no really I do love it for just this reason. Awful as it is, the bitter reality is that we grow up and grow on, on to new adventures and lives to be led. I have contemplated often, how sad this harsh reality is, harsh to me because I have a loyal streak and once I am your friend….I am. Not everyone feels that way. I was once told by a person who I adored that …”out of sight out of mind!” It crushed me and forever I have mourned the loss of that friend even though she was a bit of a snip and I still know her but I thought we had more than that. Friends come and go and I am a big girl now but still is an ouchy!

I am not going to go on a limb here and appear to say I am the best at the friend thing. I do try but just with everyone else I get bogged down with daily life. But people rarely leave my heart and this is the sweetness that comes along with re-connecting. That person who for no good reason except LIFE becomes a memory of days past. But in that rare moment when the rock is turned over and shazzam! you find them again….ahhh how sweet it is. It happened last year also when I found my friend Kim. She was the best of the best and it was a blessing to talk to her.

This friend was not one I grew up with from childhood but, I did grow up with him. During those crazy mystery years in college when it is all you can do to make it to classes and study between all the socializing, awful how the school part gets in the way ya know? The college scene is fun and scary all at the same time and this friend of mine made that time easier.

I can not even for the life of me remember how we even met…maybe the MTSU yearbook staff job I had….sad but true the memory is slipping. Once we became friends though that was that. He was the kind of guy that any girl would love to have as a friend. Never a dull moment and I always had a “date” although he was never a date…..not that there was anything wrong with that! but we were not each others type….in that arena that is!

On the friend subject, none were better. We spent so much time dreaming of going to New York and imagining loosing track of each other and then one day eating in a restaurant and seeing each other….He was a waiter of course and an aspiring writer and I was a starving artist living in a shabby apartment in “the village!” It would be old home week for sure. As usual our vivid imaginations were at work…..Then there were the times practicing our stand-up routine, yeah we were funny, two white southern kids talking about growing up in the south…white bread and all….. trying to crack each other up….lame for sure but we had a blast. He also taught me how to make the best chicken salad on earth….for which my husband and kids appreciate! now……yep we were a mess.

It is always a hoot to run across someone from your past..that is why it is good not to leave a bad trail. When the past comes knocking it is sweet and not sorrowful. This is a sweet past friend and I would be honored if he felt the same way about me. Kickin’ it old school is fun and scary again and not always fun but it is sweet to find out your friends are alive and well. That is the important part considering I tend to live in my Pollyanna world of wanting everything to work out good and happy. If you wish it it will happen!

So to any of my dear friends from my distant past, I haven’t forgotten you….I might have forgotten some of the particulars but not your hearts. And this dear friend of mine I am happy we have touched base. You made my life richer for knowing you and I am the one blessed. You are writing for Broadway…kinda! and I am still a starving artist, so besides my huge batch of kids and the body to prove it…..not much has changed except I have yet to make it to New York yet…..maybe someday!!

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NO run of the mill!


What is it about change that drives us crazy? Is it actually the changing part or the not knowing part? I say I would have to pick the not knowing part. Change is always good and without it life would be so boring. The days ahead can be so fun and crazy and frightening; enlightening as well as mysterious. As long as they are never run of the mill!

Many times I am the first one to whine about change….as if I am the only one in the world who is uncomfortable….well, it is all about ME right!(no one answer that!)There has been a change lately that I have not complained about one time…to GOD or anyone else. When I gave up the fight and stopped being mad my life changed for the better. Funny because I knew better! Especially dramatic is when the change pops up when you least expect it without any warning….as if a meteorite just slams you smack in the head. WOW that left a mark!

I consider myself fairly self aware…so much so I tend to actually care what people think of me. A painful way to live but it is the way it is. Hopefully it makes me a person who is not rude and has her filter on. I would rather be that way than blowing up all over the place. But, sometimes I have allowed that little bit of hurt to grow and eventually I end up with a whole field full of a bumper crop of mad. When change happens it is always new (hence the definition of the word!) and new is what I think is so great about it…..I like new.

The not knowing what is coming down the pike is the hard part but,it does makes for a lively life. Even with all that, it is better to change than stay stagnate like a pond. The ponds are usually a creepy shade of green and it makes it hard for life to swim through it. I never want to be that creepy shade of green so when life changes…I want to say bring it on, Lord.

Beats the tar outta run of the mill!

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Summer lovin’


Tennessee state welcome sign
Tennessee state welcome sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who has heard me in the more recent years, whether in ear shot or taken the time to read my written words, has heard me say how much I hate snow…cold weather…all things winter. So I may be the only one in the state of Tennessee that isn’t bewildered by the delicious heat wave we are now experiencing.

I am pretty sure that it is because I have slipped into the old age syndrome of enjoying hot weather more. I can remember when I was a little girl and my grandmother would have us out in the yard “rendering lard” on a hot summer day. Or maybe it was a fall day that was still like summer….sadly another sign of my agedness…memory loss of what time of the year we did this gross chore. Any way, I can remember how she would be so hot stirring the pot and I would think….can’t we go play?..it is soooooo hot sitting here watching her stir!” At least when running we could catch a breeze. My granny though would just endure it…not complaining. I suppose it wouldn’t have done any good…that is the way life was for her on the farm.

I am not in any way saying that a temperature of 104 is nice…yes it is awful…my sweat is sweating (sexy huh!) but I still say it is better than the cold. I even get cold inside our house…my feet are cold, I have to put on socks for which I hate….then I sit wrapped up in a quilt (not a snuggy, how moronic!). I think I must have tired blood.Or maybe I have the rickets…when was the last time I ate an orange, maybe that is scurvy I am thinking about? Could be I am becoming less of a complainer….? Nahhh not me, can’t be that one.

Maybe I am in the process of becoming skinny somehow(it could happen!) …seems like skinny women are always cold, with their brittle little fingers and tiny arms all shivery. And I am the world worse to complain when the car is hot or I feel smooshed in a hot room…panic attack begins to hit…no ventilation…no fan! Yet I am as happy as a clam in our sweltering heat. Go figure!

The only thing I can find wrong is that fall is soon to come…darkness is early and the gloomy winter isn’t far behind. But until then I will revel in the HOT days of summer. I still have all of July and August, maybe they will be slooowwww and breezy. Another thing,  I have gotten in the habit of wanting a huge amount of ice in my drink…which scares me to death…my mother-in-law does that and I also have been carrying around a plastic glass with a lid and straw a lot lately….oh Lord, say it ain’t so! I feel those smirks from my husband…and my daughter….curses!

Oh well it could be worse I guess. At least we stay hydrated!

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What is a Father?


Of course since father’s day is upon us it is logical that I write concerning the  fathers in my life and how I can’t even imagine life without them. For me is is a little different…I have a father, although he hasn’t been in my life for nearly forty plus years. The time I was able to spend with him was good. He worked hard and played hard and so the time was short. He died at a pretty young age. I have only tiny bits of memory of him, tidbits of fleeting moments that when you add them up not even a year or so it makes. I was very young and I have dealt with that, though when I was ten he chose to leave his family, for what ever the reason, so I was not physically with him very much. Just a few times to visit then later after I began to drive around seventeen I would have brief visits. They were not so fun…mostly sad. Never could I understand the reasons for his departure. I have since then realized where the mystery lies, blame enough for everyone involved, but we move on. Then four months after I married he passed away so the end of any future for us. I love him even though and thankful for his blood in me.

My father-in-law was my blessing then. He was a man of few words but plenty of hugs and kindness. He was a man who was to be admired and led a life of humility and grace. Gods hand was upon him and he always tried to be that hand extended to anyone he met. He gave me unconditional love, always and was a sweet example of a godly father. He left this world for the next only a few short months ago and I know he has found his reward in heaven. He is missed everyday by his son, I see the loss in his eyes as he attempts to honor his father even now while he takes care of his Mom. I honor my father-in-law for which I called Dad because he became that to me after I lost my own father.

My husband is the father of  our four which in itself is a heavy calling. He has been a strong tower for me to lean on and he has led our children in the ways of the Lord. He was the one who wrestled and played with them as toddlers, taught them to fish and hunt and to eat the nasty fish, fowl and deer that they caught. I am blessed that he was the one for this and that the kids loved it as much as he. They are all weird that way! We all have our place! HE has always been quick to admit his humanity as well as pattern love and forgiveness to them all. I can’t thank God enough for giving me him to father my children, he is the Daddy I never had which was what I had prayed for when we had our first born. Words can not be written to adequately describe my children’s father, we have all been blessed by his love.

But, I can not leave out the one who took me in when I was lost, my heavenly father. When described to me way back when more than thirty years ago as a father to the fatherless, I was IN! That totally described how I felt and if HE was going to be there for me…no matter what….. I was signed up. He has never let me down. No matter when I call upon him HE has been there to comfort me and bring me peace.

So, on this father’s day 2012 I am thankful for the men in my life who have influenced me for the good. My brother, brother-in-law and uncle’s who loved me and lived the life before me and continue to impact my life. i will forever be thankful for you! My heart will be full from the memories and love they have given. Thank you guys…..and HAPPY FATHER’S DAY YA’LL!!!

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