Friday, February 22, 2013

First Love

When I was six years old, I stood in my front yard and watched my best friend, Bill, run into the street and get hit by a car.
My best friend, Bill, was my first dog.
That night, my father sat by my bed trying to come up with something memorable to make me stop crying. “You’ll have lots of other dogs,” he said. “As time passes, the memory of Bill will fade and you might even forget all about him.”
Now, I always thought my dad was the smartest man in the world, but he was wrong about that.
I never forgot Bill! How could I?
The summer before I got my first dog, I visited my paternal grandparents. My Aunt Margie, who was in her teens, had a boyfriend named – you guessed it – Bill. I fell in love with him! When he came to visit her a few evenings a week, they usually took a walk or sat on the front porch swing for a while, but invariably ended up on the living room sofa before the evening was over. That’s when I planted myself in a chair, had a little conversation with them and then made a big production of stretching and yawning and pretending to fall asleep. I didn’t have to wait very long before I could barely open my eyes and catch them necking. It was great fun! I either had them completely fooled or they didn’t care because they never called me on it.

It didn’t last long enough to suit me and probably not them either because, precisely at 10 p.m., without fail, Grandpa would lumber into the living room, stop in front of the fireplace, pull his pocket watch out of his pocket and wind it for several seconds before announcing brusquely, “Bedtime.”

Very quickly, Aunt Margie and Bill were at the front door saying goodnight and I was on my way to my bedroom. That’s the way it worked in those days!

I don’t know exactly how old my aunt was but I was convinced she’d marry Bill and I’d someday call him “Uncle Bill.”

That didn’t happen. And I never forgave her!

So when I was back at home and my dad brought an adorable little black puppy home one day and said we could keep him, I immediately said, “His name is Bill!”

My dad was right about one thing. I did have many dogs after Bill. And I loved them all, but somehow, I think your first dog must be like your first love. 

No matter how many come after, you never forget your first.
Image from working

Friday, February 15, 2013

Turks and Caicos Getaway

 Valentine’s Day – a day dedicated to lovers, has come and gone for another year. Most of us enjoyed a nice card, flowers, candy or perhaps dinner at a nice restaurant.

It was a great day but today, I’m thinking about my eldest daughter and her husband. It seems they always find a way to make the most of everything. Each celebration is carried out with the most enthusiasm possible. Nothing is ever done halfway. I suppose that’s why they are two of the happiest people I know.

Their wedding anniversary was January 31st. A milestone. So, instead of planning a trip or celebration then, right on the heels of the holidays, they plotted and planned so as to get the most bang for their buck! Since they both love warm weather, a tropical destination was chosen and reservations made for the two of them; they’d leave their home in North Carolina on Wednesday, February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day. That way, they’d not only have a belated anniversary celebration but also a big, romantic Valentine’s Day on the island of Turks and Caicos, in the Caribbean. Delightful!
I always worry when my family travels, especially in the air. But, fortunately, my fear of flying has not transferred to any of my children or grandchildren. And that’s a good thing! One shouldn’t let fear control his or her life as I sometimes do. Consequently, they’ll enjoy their lives. And I’ll continue to worry. C’est la vie!
I received e-mail from my daughter this morning with a picture attached.
The caption read: View from our room this morning. Beautiful here. So relaxing! Sunny, mid 80's!

Another came later – it read: View of the pool at breakfast.

The next one read:  Lunchtime. Nice view! The big smile says it all, doesn’t it?
 I‘ve never been to the Caribbean. The color of the water struck me as unusually vibrant. I wrote back, “Lovely! Is the water really that blue?”
She answered, “Yes. Turquoise. Gorgeous!"
“I’ll probably never see it except through your eyes," I told her, "so take lots of pictures and make them large.”  She agreed.
A little later, another picture –

Caption:  View from where we ate lunch. (Click on picture to enlarge.)

I’m so happy that these two special people get to enjoy life the way they do.
And it wasn’t handed to them. Neither was born into wealth. Both came from middle-class families. Yet, they and their two children have been prosperous enough to have most everything they want. How? You say. They’ve earned it the old-fashioned way – by hard work!

How proud we are of their accomplishments! And how thankful to God!

Two days later,Toney writes:
"Clouds over the beach this morn. Our flight back to Charlotte is 3:30. It is only in the 30's there!  Brrrr!"
"Last day on Turks and Caicos !! Boo hoo!"
Toney enjoying her last walk on the beach -- until next vacation, of course!
 And there will be one! I wouldn't be surprised if it's already in the planning stages. Perhaps reservations are made. Stay tuned to see where the next destination will be. She can't stay away from white sand and blue water very long. Every so often, a tropical haven beckons -- and "my girl" answers!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Some Thoughts On Growing Old

Old age arrives suddenly as does the snow.

The entire life of a human being depends upon “yes” and “no” uttered two or three times between the ages of 16 and 25.

Old age embellishes everything. It has the effect of the setting sun on the beautiful twilights of autumn.

The person who considers himself too old to learn something has probably always been that way.

No wonder time seems so fleeting when you consider that tomorrow, today will be yesterday!  ~pth
So long as one continues to be amazed, one can delay growing old.

It is by growing old that one learns to remain young.

It's not about the lines on the face - it's about the wisdom behind them.
Youth is a wonderful thing.  What a crime to waste it on children.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Oh, how quickly the hands on the clock circle toward the future we thought was far away! And how soon we become our mothers.  ~pth

It usually takes looking back to see how far we've come.

Where did the time go?  Yesterday, I was a girl, and today, I suddenly find myself in the autumn of my years with the cold winds of winter breathing down my neck.  ~pth

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

O' Ye Of Little Faith

After my recent surgery, I was weak and a little depressed. I felt deserted by family, friends and God! I prayed, but He didn’t seem to hear me. I felt very alone.
One sleepless night as I lay tossing and turning—feeling sorry for myself—words and phrases started coming to me. In just a few minutes, a whole poem that made me feel good was recorded in my brain. I couldn’t wait to get up and write it down so I wouldn’t forget it. After tweaking it just a little, I shared it with a couple of good friends who gave it a "thumbs up." When I finally let Mr. H. read it, he suggested I share it with everyone.
I’m always a little shy about sharing these things, but Mr. H. is one of my best advisors on my writing, so I usually take his advice.
Here’s the poem:

O’ Ye Of Little Faith
When days were full of dark despair
And no one else could see me through,
I couldn’t find you anywhere;
I needed You! I needed You!
When I cried out in utter pain
And begged You to come rescue me,
The dark clouds only brought more rain;
Torrential as the raging sea.
For days I lingered in this way
Devoid of warmth and love
But then You sent a shining ray
Directly from above!
“O’ ye of little faith,” I heard
In soft familiar tones
“How can you doubt My Loving Word
You never are alone! 
Now rest your weary soul, my dear
And in this state, abide
Lay down your burdens, do not fear
I’m always by your side!”