Thursday, September 25, 2014

Only Three Months

As I sat looking out at the beautiful sunshine and woolgathering this afternoon, a
thought struck me. Three months from today will be Christmas Day!
Doesn’t that excite you?
Oh, yeah. I think I hear protesting and name-calling in the distance. Why do a lot of people rail against the holiday season? You hate to shop, right? I do, too! That’s why Mr. H. and I have taken to doing most of ours online the past few years. It’s so much easier. 
But shopping is not all of it. What about the baking, decorating, beautiful carols, getting together with family and friends. Don’t you enjoy some of it? It almost seems that we have begun to think of it as something we have to get through – and the sooner, the better.
Too bad that the most important holiday of the year has become one that people  dread!
 It wasn’t always that way.
Let’s go back  a few decades:
As Christmas Day draws near, holiday joy fills the air. Carols play continuously as last-minute shoppers bustle about. Everyone we meet greets us with “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” in this – the most love-filled time of year! Homes are decorated for the season with brightly lit trees, wreaths and sweetly-scented, flickering candles. Wonderful aromas waft through the air as mothers bake savory treats for family and for sharing with friends and neighbors. Many holiday parties and special programs are planned.
Children are glowing with excitement and expectation.
It’s a wonderful time of year.  No one complains that it’s too much work because it’s all about love!
Now, aren’t you happy I reminded you that Christmas is only three months away?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Golden Afternoons

For some reason, it seems to me that the golden afternoons of September bring a stillness that is not present in any other month of the year.
When I got up this morning and went to my kitchen, I couldn’t believe how quiet it was! The bright sun shining through every window, including the skylight, gave off a golden glow that was warm and inviting, yet there was not a sound to be heard. Even my refrigerator was taking a rest from its usual humming. I didn’t want to disturb the quiet so I stood still – listening. To nothing.
It was wonderful!
I don’t know where this lovely silence comes from; perhaps it’s only because children are back in school and we don’t hear their clamoring throughout neighborhoods and in public places. Whatever the reason, it is quieter.
Combine golden days with refreshing silence and the still colorful, though declining, flower gardens, and you have September days that seem—almost sacred.
Sad that they’ll soon be over!
September Days

Ah, Sweet September! Your
   golden days are waning now;
Tho’ sunny afternoons yet linger
   and blessed stillness abounds –
Warm, gentle breezes that were,
   are suddenly cooler and
darkness arrives earlier than
   before; restful nights casually
 hint that the time is near for
 all to enjoy a pause – a
   a tranquil respite.
Your peerless sister will soon
   enchant us with her
cloudless blue skies and lovely,
   vibrant landscape— 
Ah, Sweet September! Your
   golden days are waning now. 

                 ©2012~Peggy Toney Horton 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Where Are the Answers?

“Be careful,” said Mr. H. as I headed out the door. “It rained this morning; there could be some slippery spots on the road.”
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll take it slow so I can look at the scenery.”
I was on my way to an appointment, hadn’t had much sleep and was planning to travel the old two-lane country road I'd traveled many times before.
As I drove the long, lonely stretch – not another car in sight – tiny raindrops peppered my windshield and Willy Nelson sang “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain” on the radio.
Gray clouds hung overhead and I thought about all the things I’ve had on my plate recently. All the peace and happiness that I usually feel while traveling this highway didn’t materialize.
I felt sad.
At times like this, I miss my mother. In the past, I would have phoned her and talked ten minutes and everything would have been fine. She always knew what to say. No. It wasn’t what she said. It was the way she listened.
Once I had poured out all my problems and concerns to her, they didn’t seem so big anymore. She was like a psychiatrist who lets his patients talk until they work out their own problems.
But I haven’t been able to talk to my mother for more than ten years. What’s more, I’m the matriarch of the family now. Everyone looks to me for answers. And sometimes I don’t have them.
Like now.
What do you say to your child when she says, “The doctor will fix me up eventually, won’t he?” And to your granddaughter when she says, “Is my mom gonna be okay?”
Where will I find the answers? On this lonely road that I love so much? In the cloudy sky? Perhaps there are no answers.
At least none that I want to explore.


Friday, September 12, 2014

That Song by Harold Smith

A big “Thank You” to those of you who read my column last Sunday in the Charleston Gazette about my faux pas at the music store.
It’s been the source of a lot of fun for me this week. Several people wrote to say how much they enjoyed it – made me feel a little like Erma Bombeck. Ha! That’s wishful thinkin’, I know, but fun to imagine.
One nice man wrote to tell me that he and his wife sang on their car trips for years the words to a John Mellencamp song as "blind baby Jesus" until their daughters heard them and stopped laughing long enough to tell them the correct words were "blind faith in Jesus." How funny!
Another lady, who shall remain nameless, once corrected a friend when she said she liked a new song by Vic Damone. This lady said, “His name is Victor Moan.” On, my! How silly she must have felt when she learned the truth!
Probably about as silly as I felt when the salesman corrected me.
The good thing is, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. Some of them will be offbeat, some will be funny and make us feel foolish, and some will be just downright wrong.
Who knows why we do these things? Perhaps it's fate's way of keeping us from getting too sure of ourselves; of letting us know we’re still capable of making mistakes no matter how much education or experience we have.
Or maybe it’s just a way of teaching us to relax and laugh at ourselves once in a while—and not take life too seriously.
Thankfully, most people laugh "with" us - not "at" us.
If you didn’t get a chance to read the column and would like to, here’s the link again:


Monday, September 1, 2014

Don't Mess With Maw-Maw!

Mr. H. and I had quite an evening and an all-nighter to boot!
We did what everyone hates, but finds themselves having to do occasionally anyway.
We spent the night in the ER!
Here’s what happened:
Around 7:30 in the evening, our son phoned and said his car stopped on him and he was very close to our home, so he wanted his dad to come and help him, if possible.
Well, of course, Mr. H. went and they managed to get the car back to his house by towing it with a chain and Mr. H’s truck. When they got there, it had to be maneuvered into the driveway, so, with son in the car, Mr. H. decided to help by pushing the car, which turned out to be a bad idea. The street was wet, and as the car started going forward, so did Mr. H. and down he went, first, on his hand, shoulder, and knee, and finally his head hit the pavement – hard! He got quite a gash right on his eyebrow!
Son phoned me and said, “Just thought you should know, we got my car home alright, but Dad fell and he’s coming home injured! It looks pretty bad!”
After wiping away the blood, it was easy to see he needed stitches... so off we went to the ER. We thought a few stitches would be easy – just jump over to Thomas Hospital, get the gash stitched up and be home in time to watch the eleven o’clock news!
Little did we know that the obligatory time at the ER, no matter what the problem, is at least six hours!
We checked in at the ER at 9:25 and they took us right in – probably because of the amount of blood and the bump on the head. We felt good about this. After he was in a bed, a nurse handed him an ice pack and said they’d have to do a CT scan of the head and spine. After that was done – took about five minutes – we waited and waited and waited. Three hours went by and Mr. H. was threatening to leave without having anything done. And I was freezing to death in that deep freeze they call a hospital!
But finally, at 2:20 a.m., when we’d been there 5 hrs., the dr. came in, cleaned the wound and stitched it up. It only took two stitches, but he said they were “double” stitches, whatever that means. He explained that they’d hold it closed and “He’ll be able to resume his modeling career after it heals.” Cute, but by now, neither of us was in the mood for comedy!
We left the hospital at 3:10 a.m, after being there close to our required six hours. When we got home, his eye purple all around and swollen shut, we unwound, got warm and finally made it to bed at 6:30 a.m.
This afternoon, I sent all our children a picture of their dad’s shiner with the caption, “Don’t mess with Maw-Maw!”
“I love the night! It’s not uncommon for me to see the light of a new day before closing my eyes on the old one.”  ©~peggy toney horton