Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October Day


Ah, Lovely October!

Ah, Lovely October! As you usher in the season that awakens my soul, your awesome beauty compels my spirit to soar like a leaf whirling in an autumn breeze and my heart to sing like a Heavenly choir.

 © 2016 ~Peggy Toney Horton


Sunday, September 17, 2017

What has Happened to the Neighborhood?


It’s a beautiful 82˚day where I live. Although I had things to do, I couldn’t resist taking a short walk in my neighborhood. It’s amazing what one can learn on one of these walks. I encountered five people and two dogs along the way and I don’t mind telling you, the dogs were much friendlier than the people.
I’ve lived in this neighborhood for many years, but an onlooker might have supposed that I was a newcomer. People seem almost afraid to speak to people they don’t know these days. I remember a time when I couldn’t go for a walk without getting involved in conversation with everyone I met. In those days, everyone walked mostly for the camaraderie. What started out to be a short walk always took a couple of hours.
But today was different. As a man cutting his grass looked my way, I smiled and said, “Hello,” but all I got back was a quick nod. A short time later, I saw two ladies walking toward me on the opposite side of the street. Gearing up for a friendly exchange, I readied my smile, but the two ladies barely managed a nervous “Hi,” as they walked on. Another woman sat in a rocking chair on her porch – rocking away. I said, “Hello, how’re you today?” She ignored me.
Just as I was checking to see if my shirt was unbuttoned or if I had mustard on my face, a big brown dog and a small white one ran toward me wagging all over and jumping on me as if I were a well-known friend. Their owner appeared on her porch and yelled, “Beautiful day, isn’t it?”
“Sure is!” I yelled back, petting the dogs.
Heading toward home, I thought, “Well, one out of five ain’t bad, I guess. What has happened to the neighborhood? Where are all the friendly people? Are all neighborhoods like this – or only mine?”
Am I a scary looking person? If so, it didn’t just recently happen. I remember a time when I was much younger – and had more vinegar running through my veins; I was being ignored at a doctor’s office. I sat there for more than an hour past my appointment time. People kept arriving, getting called in to see the doctor and leaving while I sat twiddling my thumbs. I got angrier and angrier and finally couldn’t stand it any longer. I went to the window. The receptionist looked up and said, “May I help you?”
“Do I have two heads or something?” I inquired.
“What do you mean,” she asked.
“You’ve ignored me for more than an hour. If the doctor doesn’t have time for me, I’ll leave now and not waste any more of my day!”
After rustling around with some papers on her desk, the young girl, obviously embarrassed, said, “I’m so sorry! You’re next.”
Those were the good old days when people knew how to communicate!
www.amazon.com/author/peggytoneyhorton

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Red House



Dreams intrigue me.
My son, whose opinion I often seek, assures me that dreams mean nothing. He says, “When you’ve been thinking about certain things and then you sleep, these things come out in your subconscious and you see pictures – similar to watching a movie. They are in no way prophetic!”
I’m not sure I agree.
I’ve had many dreams that later materialized in some unusual way. For instance, as a child, I once had a vivid dream of myself riding a blue bicycle. There was no obvious reason for it. I already had a green bicycle and wasn’t yearning for a new one. Yet, a few days later, when my birthday came, my dad took me to a store and bought me a beautiful new bicycle. I was thrilled and rode the shiny, blue bike home.  Do Dreams Come True.
A couple of nights ago, I dreamed my daughter yelled at me from a neighbor’s house, “C’mon, let’s go see the red house.”
Although I’d just gotten out of bed, was still in pajamas and had not combed my hair, I hurried out to meet my daughter, just as I was, so we could go see this red house. When we arrived at the house, we found Mr. H sitting on a bench talking with a man who lives nearby. They didn’t seem surprised to see us, but got up and followed us into the house.
This red house had been staged beautifully! I was mesmerized! From one room to another I ran, taking in every detail of the furniture and the house itself. There were many people looking at the house and no one seemed to notice that I was in my PJs and looking so disheveled. (Odd)
I finally told Mr. H that I must have this house – furniture and all! With nary a blink, he said, “Okay.” I was thrilled! Until daughter spoke up, “You can’t buy it. I already bought it.”
My heart sank and I started to cry like a child.
“You silly goose!” said my daughter, “I knew you’d like this red house so I bought it FOR you.”
I woke up laughing.
Wouldn't it be nice if this dream turned out like the one about the blue bicycle? 

www.amazon.com/author/peggytoneyhorton

Saturday, August 12, 2017

London Locks









Tonight I dreamed of London Locks, churning
waters within, of sloping green banks enhancing
the spot,
where I whiled away hours with my best friend.

Like barefoot waifs, we wandered about
with nary a care to convey;
our summer fun came easy. We strolled,
We sang. We played.

Calliope’s tune, full August moon, ferris wheel
whirling at night, pink cotton candy so sticky          
and sweet,
what memorable delights!                               


Dreams are cruel, one must awake – tears
staining the face; ‘twas only a vision, I sadly
discerned,
of another time--another place.

©2017 - peggy toney Horton


Friday, July 21, 2017

Friends

 
Sherry and I have been phone friends, Facebook friends and Twitter friends for approximately ten years. We live about 15 miles apart but have never met! We've planned to meet for lunch a few times but something always happens that one of us can't make it. So we just continue to talk on the phone and share things on Facebook and Twitter.

I suppose if it's meant to be, we'll meet someday.

www.amazon.com/author/peggytoneyhorton



Monday, May 29, 2017

One Day at a Time

"One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Walk in the Rain


Once, when I was unusually stressed, my doctor said, “Peggy, do you ever take an early morning walk in the rain?” Rolling my eyes and scanning my memory, I said, “I used to – a long time ago.”
“Try it again,” he said. “It’ll do wonders for you.”
When I went out this morning to run an errand, the skies were gray and rain was falling softly. As I drove along, almost hypnotized by the windshield wipers, I thought about what the doc had said long-ago and about the walks in the rain that I had let go of so easily.  
Life got in the way of simple pleasures like that one.
Pulling over to the curb, I parked, rolled my window down and breathed deeply. The sweet fragrance of the morning rain brought back many memories and I knew instantly I had to take one of those walks I’d dismissed as something I didn’t have time for years ago.
Out of the car, I was at once a child again! I sauntered right through a couple of puddles, ignoring the fact that my feet were getting soaked and I closed my umbrella for a few minutes, looked upward and let the rain pepper my face.
It was wonderful!
By the time I got home, it was clearing and the sun was trying to peep through the clouds. I was almost disappointed!
As I put my purchases away, I smiled  – feeling like I had a beautiful secret!



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother’s Laughter


        My mother’s laughter was infectious – like a cheerful tune that lingers in your mind for the rest of the day. Like a yawn that starts a chain reaction causing everyone else in the room to yawn.
She laughed often. It didn’t take much to amuse her: the antics of a young child, a puppy or kitten tickled her funnybone causing her to laugh joyfully and everyone within hearing distance felt an urge to laugh with her.
They say we all have a talent. Although she had others, the ability to make people laugh was one of the most significant.
She was a good singer, too. It ran in her family. Her sister and three brothers all sang beautifully. Nothing pleased me more as a child than to be there when she and her siblings got together for a songfest or to hear her singing while she did her housework. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit her vocal chords. I was pretty sure of that fact from the get-go, but it was confirmed when I was once singing with the radio while doing my housework and my dog started barking at me. I loved to sing but the only place I dared was when I was alone in my car with all the windows up. I’d put my favorite CD on the player, turn the volumn up and sing to my heart’s content. Sometimes I’d take the long way home just so I could sing longer.  J
I loved my mother but we couldn’t have been more different. I used to wonder if she might possibly have taken the wrong baby home from the hospital until I learned that I was born at home.
Clobbered that theory!
I never liked the clothes she picked out for me either. How angry I used to get when she made me wear things I hated just because they suited her!
For example, she always made me wear a beret on Easter and other dress-up occasions. She was so skillful at matching the color of a beret to my dress or coat perfectly every time! And the way she pulled the tight bands of those things down on my forehead almost to my eyebrows made me feel like my head was in a straight jacket. In retrospect, I think I must have looked like a woman who arches her eyebrows too high, causing her to look surprised. I was convinced if I sneezed or coughed hard, the beret would go flying across the room and smack someone in the face. As soon as we were in the car heading home, I’d yank it off as fast as possible, leaving an itchy, red mark on my forehead for the rest of the day. When I was old enough to wear what I pleased, I never looked at another beret!  :)

Yes, we were different, and that made for some interesting times. As I grew up and struggled to be my own person, we had many heated arguments, but she usually won. My respect for her wouldn’t allow me to go very long without apologizing. To be completely honest, I feared her, too!

God doesn’t make mistakes! He gave me a strong will, and then blessed me with a mother who would temper it. Just as He uses adversity to refine us and make us stronger, my mother combined just the right mix of nurturing and discipline to shape my character.

She was everything a mother should be: loving, intelligent, beautiful – inside and out, God-fearing and more.
I miss her every day of my life. 

(the above picture is not me)

www.amazon.com/author/peggytoneyhorton

Friday, May 12, 2017

Quote

“Like a dying ember, the child in us can flare up again when least expected."     ~Peggy Toney Horton

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Choosing New Shoes



I was born in April. I love it! Even with all the rain that is bound to come, the world becomes a brighter place in this fourth month of the year. Suddenly, the grass is greener and flowers pop up everywhere: daffodils, forsythia, tulips, violets, and a variety of flowering trees magically appear to delight us after a dreary winter. The air even smells fresher.

Ah, April – spring at last!

Thoughts of spring bring thoughts of childhood and remembrances of childish things. I was telling a friend the other day that my mother made me wear “baby” shoes – Stride Rites – until I was five years old. I yearned for the shiny black patent dressy shoes that I saw on little girls in my Sunday School class, but no matter how much I whined and cajoled, my mother wouldn’t budge. When I got fitted for new shoes, it was always white Stride Rites! I hated them!

  My 5th birthday. 

But the summer I was five years old, while she was readying me for school in the fall, to my great surprise and delight, she told me I could go to Keffer’s and pick out my own school shoes. I couldn’t believe my ears and couldn’t get there fast enough!

Living in a small town, in a much different time, was wonderful for kids. We were safe on the streets alone. Everyone knew everyone else’s children and looked out for them. Keffer’s was a one-stop shop sort of thing. Food on one side and dry goods on the other. Not quite like the store on The Waltons, but close. My father had a charge account and had instructed the owners that I could have anything, within reason, that I wanted and charge it to him. I felt quite important going into the store with a friend, buying each of us a candy bar and coke and saying, “Charge it to Daddy.”

So, on a sunny August day – a feeling of declining summer already in the air – I set out to walk the several blocks to Keffer's to shop for my first pair of grown-up shoes! It was hard to contain my excitement!

When I got there, I looked around at all the shoes on display. Though I didn’t see much that appealed to me, I wasn’t about to give up! I kept looking. White baby shoes were strictly off limits. I didn’t even look their way!

I spent quite a while looking and sighing – fear beginning to build that I might not find a pair of shoes I liked. What if that happened and Mother took me back downtown to the Stride Rite store? No! I couldn’t let that happen. I had to get a pair!

Mrs. Keffer, the woman who worked there, noticed me and came over, “Do you need help, Peggy?” she asked.

“Yes, I think so.” And the dam broke. I explained in detail how badly I needed to buy a pair of shoes and why. Mrs. Keffer was a kind lady who listened all the way to the end of my story. She told me to sit down so she could measure my foot. Then she said, “Just a minute, honey. I think I might have something in the back.”

After a few minutes, she came out with a box in her hand, took the lid off and removed a shoe. She showed it to me first, then motioned for me to put my foot out so she could try it on me. I loved it! It was the first time in my life that anything had been on my foot that wasn’t a white baby shoe! When I smiled and nodded, she took out the other shoe and put it on my other foot. I couldn’t have been happier!

      
(This is not me, but you get the idea.)  J

Smiling my biggest smile, I told Mrs. Keffer, “Charge ‘em to Daddy!”

“Okay,” she said, smiling back at me.

Untying one shoe, she said, “I’ll put them back in the box.”

“Oh, no!” I said, “I’ll wear them home!”

My mother didn’t have heart-failure when I walked in wearing those brogue-ish brown shoes, but the look on her face was one I’d never seen before, tho’ she pretended I’d done a great job picking out my school shoes. What else could she do after I’d worn them home? 

This incident amused my dad for the rest of the evening— possibly for the rest of his life.   😄



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Just a Dream?


     Dreams disturb me – especially since, lately, mine have become increasingly tumultuous. In them, I always seem to be frantically searching for something I never find. I occasionally get so agitated that Mr. H. has to shake me awake to stop the screams.

In last night’s vision, I was homeless. And to make matters worse, none of my friends or family would take me in. Just as Scarlett O’Hara often said, “I’ll go home to Tara,” I kept saying, “I’ll go back to my home by the river,” which I finally did. But, alas! my mother was cool, giving the distinct impression that she didn’t want me to stay and even my dad, totally out of character, didn’t seem overjoyed at the thought of my moving in with them.

I was devastated! Lost, homeless, and unwanted. What to do? I turned to leave with tears running down my face and was rudely awakened.

Mr. H. was kicking me. Hard! With both feet! It seemed he was trying to kick me out of bed. I hit him on the shoulder and screamed, “What are you doing?”

“Huh,” he mumbled – then turned over and immediately started snoring.

The next day, at some point, he said, “Do you remember screaming at me last night?”

“I sure do,” I said. “You were kicking me – hard!”

Chuckling, he told me why. “I was dreaming,” he said. “A dog was biting my legs and I was trying to kick it away.”

We had a good laugh and settled that mystery, but I’d still like to know why, in my dream, I was homeless and nobody would take me in.

If I were paranoid, I might think the two dreams were linked and, since nobody else cared about me, Mr. H. was making it unanimous by kicking me out!

Nah!  “It was just a dream."

Wasn't it?


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Another Broken Shoe Heel







It was very cold today. 17 degrees, I think.
When Mr. H. and I went out to run some errands, I dressed warmly. Jeans, flannel shirt, heavy jacket, knee socks and a pair of red boots lined with fur that I haven’t worn for several years. They're not stylish, but warm was all that mattered. I really love these boots, but we don’t have that much cold weather so I don’t wear them often.
Nevertheless, I extracted them from the closet today, yanked them on, zipped them up and enjoyed warm, toasty feet and legs all day.
With heavy socks on, the boots fit very tight, and when we got home, I sat down on a step and asked Mr. H. in my most persuasive voice, “Would you mind pulling my boots off? They’re hard to get off and you’re so much stronger than I am.”
And so... Mr. H. pulled and tugged for a few seconds and off came the first boot. Then he grabbed the other one, tugged and pulled and it resisted, but finally came – in two pieces! The heel broke off in his hand. It didn’t just break loose from the boot – it actually broke into two pieces.
“Oh, darn!” I said. “I’ll bet I haven’t worn these boots more than three times and I love them!” Mr. H. doesn’t think it can be fixed so I’m out a perfectly good pair of boots except for a missing heel. Why do we never break or stain something we don’t care about? It’s always something we love.
Life is like that.
Later this evening, I started thinking about the fact that I seem to have more trouble with shoe heels than most people. Sitting alone in my family room, I laughed aloud remembering the time I wrote a newspaper column about getting my heel stuck in an elevator track and the note my friend, Carol, wrote me when she read the column.
If you’d like to read her note and the column, they're here.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Alien Ornament - 2016


Here it is! This year’s alien ornament! The picture doesn't do her justice. This little angel is beautiful - white, gold and glittery! I love it!
Number ten! 
If you haven’t been keeping up with my alien ornament collection, here’s the skinny: each year for the past ten years, when Mr. H. and I take our Christmas tree down – on or about January 3rd, we find an ornament that we didn’t put on the tree when we decorated it – on or about the 10th of December. From the very first one, we’ve never been sure how it got there, although we have our suspicions.
A family member has been playing this little prank on us each year for the past decade and we enjoy being the recipients of these unusual new ornaments as much as they apparently enjoy secretly placing them on our tree – probably while we’re sleeping or otherwise engaged. 
I have written a blog post and shown a picture of each of them. Hope you enjoy the stories and pictures of our alien ornaments. 
You can see last year’s ornament here.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year - from Bickford Family and Friends

Found this on the Internet right after New Year's Day. It's flattering, but I wonder how they find all this stuff.  :)