When I was just a little girl, the stories I most loved to hear, were found inside my grandma’s trunk, filled with things from yesteryear.
I saw her in a picture. Not one hair was out of place. She wore a prim and proper dress made of satin, adorned in lace.
“Why aren’t you smiling, Grandma?” I asked her once again.
“My photograph was seldom taken. They were like portraits way back then. People struck a serious pose, stood tall, and calmly waited. A startling “poof” and blinding flash confirmed their likeness was created.”
(Mary standing in front her father in the buggy and her mother standing behind the wheel. Taken at the Tyrrell Farm.)
She reached inside the trunk and found an album bound in leather. Oh, the stories Grandma told when we looked at it together.
Time was captured in that book. Long ago came back to life, as Grandma told the story of becoming Grandpa’s wife.
“How did you and Grandpa meet?” Grandma knew I’d never tire, of the story beginning in the church, where she was singing in the choir.
Grandpa came with a lady friend, but Grandma caught his eye. He did some work on her father’s farm and came to know her by and by.
They were married May eighteenth. Nineteen eleven was the year. They moved from Iowa to South Dakota. No other family would be near.
Two daughters and two sons were born… a new home they began to seek. They bought land and a log cabin in a pretty place called Horse Creek.
They worked hard to make a living two more daughters soon arrived. Grandma said without their children’s help, they wouldn’t have survived.
Inside that big old trunk that had followed Grandma’s life, was a treasure trove of stories of happy times and times of strife.
When we finally closed the trunk, Grandma’s eyes began to shine. She said, “I could not be prouder of those six kids of mine.’
I heard a little cough. I turned around in time to see… Grandpa smile and wink at Grandma who was as pleased as she could be.
Have you ever heard of a vision board? I’m watching a movie and there’s an interesting story going on. There is a woman in the movie who is at a place in her life where she has reached the pinnacle of happiness.
Meanwhile, her friend is having trouble figuring out what her happiness would look like, and therefore, can’t make it happen.
The woman lets her in on a little secret.
“The “vision board.”
If you drew or painted your personal vision of happiness, what would it look like? If you’re like me and can’t draw or paint, you could cut out pictures and paste them on a poster board.
I don’t think you are ever too old to have a vision board. Things that create your vision of happiness probably change over time. In fact, the older you are, the more important a vision board might be. Just going through the exercise will probably help you see where you’re spending your time and energy.
Would the result surprise you? Would your vision of happiness have too many or too few dreams represented.
I already know I’m going to have to pare down some. I’ll need to prioritize about fifty things I really want to do. I’ve been told by professionals that I go off on too many tangents. I can never quite wrap up all the things I start.
Wow!..I’m already having visions of what I want on my board.
Yes!…I’m going to create my own vision board. I’ll ponder it until tomorrow afternoon and then I’ll make one. Are my dreams worthy? Are they realistic and achievable? (I’ll leave singing off.)
I’m not lying Pinocchio!
What do I need to do to make my dreams come true?
I have a lot to think about. I’ll show you my masterpiece when its completed. We might all be surprised. That is if I finish it!
Too bad I got sidetracked and didn’t watch the rest of the movie. Does anyone know how it ended?
I’m on my way over to Pearl’s. I got up really early because I needed to check something out. Let me explain.
Every morning when Pearl the dog and I go out for a walk, we stop and pick up Aunt Grace’s newspaper. I trained Pearl to pick it up and carry it up the stairs. She takes it right to Aunt Grace’s door and waits for me to knock before she drops it. We don’t wait for Aunt Grace to come to the door, but we always knock. That dog is really proud to help out like that. I think it helps her esteem.
Well, twice now, when Pearl left to go to the Busy Nest, she nearly killed herself tripping over a big pile of newspapers in front of the door that faces Main Street. The second time, Pearl was so upset, she limped right down the street to the newspaper office and proceeded to tell them how incompetent their newspaper boy was. The editor person called the poor kid in so they could get to the bottom of Pearl’s complaint.
Pearl told us that boy swore he had thrown those papers directly onto the doorsteps of their rightful owners. Pearl told him the rightful owners must have thrown them back at him, because how else would they have all wound up on her doorstep?
The newspaper lady called everyone who lived close to Main Street and asked them if they got their paper that morning. They all said, no. Then Mr. Mann said he saw a dog run off with his. Of course, I was thinking like you are right now…that it was Pearl the dog. But Pearl never goes anyplace without me. She can’t get in and out by herself. I decided to watch the paperboy from a distance this morning. That’s why I got up so early. I was hoping to catch the culprit.
Just like he said, that kid threw the paper right up on the porch of every house on that street. I had to admire his good arm and profound accuracy. I remained in hiding and waited. Before long, here came Pearl the dog. I gasped. She ran up to the first door, grabbed the paper and took off running. She ran back and forth until she had picked up every newspaper on that street. When she got the last one, I stayed far enough behind her so she couldn’t see me, and I followed her.
I watched as she put that last paper on the pile in front of the door. Then she turned and sat there facing the street. It was only a minute or two later that I saw Berford, the motel lady’s dog, stroll on up to Pearl, who jumped up on the doo and managed to turn the doorknob with her paw. Then she backed up just enough for the door to open a crack. It was enough for Berferd to get his nose in far enough so Pearl could squeeze back inside. I watched as the door shut, after which Berferd grabbed one of the papers and ran off.
I’d bet money that motel lady was in her car someplace waiting for Berferd to bring her the stolen news. She knows everything going on in town before it hits the paper, anyway.
I’m here…Pearl is where she always is. Lying in front of Pearl the human’s door, waiting for me to take her for a walk. She probably wonders why I didn’t come from the back like I always do. That’s where my favorite dog and I come and go, and that’s where the paperboy throws our paper. Where nobody can bother it…ha ha!
Hardly anyone in Murdo locks their doors. The doors to the rooms above Sanderson’s Store don’t even have a lock.
I decided to give myself some time to think.
“I’ll grab your leash, girl, and we’ll go for a long walk and talk about this. Maybe If you stop running with Berferd and stealing papers, I won’t have to tell Pearl.
“It’s easy for you to get out isn’t it, Pearl? All you’ve gotta do is jump up on the door, turn the knob and push. It’s getting back in that you need help with. How am I going to unlearn you all of that? I will have to accomplish the impossible, that’s how!
We’re just lucky Pearl the human isn’t an early riser. Are you listening to me Pearl?”
Pearl owns The Busy Nest, where she sells her popular Elixerfixer. Grace writes an advice column with the help of twelve-year-old Ellie. Pearl calls her Essie. We refer to her as Ellie/Essie, whose other responsibility is to care for Pearl the dog, who belongs to Pearl the human. Pearl named her dog after herself. She figured as long as she could remember her own name, she could remember that of her dog, and if the day comes when she forgets either, it’s time for them to part ways.
Ellie/Essie is walking to Sanderson’s store. Pearl, Pearl the dog, and Grace live in the apartments above the store.
It’s Sunday and we’re taking the day off. I’m on my way over to see Pearl and Grace, but I really want to see Pearl the dog. I felt real sorry for her yesterday when we were trespassing in that cornfield. Even though I don’t especially want to relive it, I guess I better tell you what happened.
Pearl the human drove that pink Cadillac right into a wide spot in the cornfield. Then she opened the trunk and pulled out three big old gunny sacks she’d brought to put the corn in. She told Grace to keep an eye out while we picked some corn. Pearl the dog came with Pearl and me. We were headed back to the car with the last gunny sack full of corn when Grace yelled, “Hit the Ground!! A Pick-up is coming! A pick-up is coming! Hit the ground!”
Well, I hit the ground flat-out, Pearl the human just stood there, and Pearl the dog did something she almost never does. She started barking her head off. Grace, who has never in her life driven a car, started the engine up, and put the car in gear. She turned a wheelie right in the middle of that wide spot in the cornfield.
When she got up along side of us, she hit the brakes and yelled at us to get in the car. Pearl, who realized she didn’t have a leg to stand on, rode shotgun and I jump in the back. We had lost track of Pearl the dog. We couldn’t hear her barking anymore, either. Grace gunned it, and headed for the highway.
Fear struck me to the core. The pick-up had seen us, and was heading our way. Grace suddenly realized she was driving and stomped on the brakes. The car died and there we were…sitting ducks. I still didn’t know where Pearl the dog was.
The pick-up pulled up beside us and a guy got out. Pearl got out of our car, and Grace started crying.
“Can I help you ladies with something?” The pick-up guy asked.
“Why thank you,” Pearl replied. “We’re fine. Is this your cornfield?”
“Yes, Mam, this is my cornfield…nice Cadillac. Did you have a flat tire? I see you’ve got your trunk up.”
Pearl’s expression didn’t change one bit. “No, young man, we didn’t have a flat. I was trying to teach my friend here how to drive. “Essie,” Pearl said. “Please close that trunk. I guess I didn’t slam it down hard enough when I put my walker back in there. I take my walker with me everywhere I go. I have vertigo. You’re spinning as we speak…That’s why I’m teaching Grace how to drive.”
The pick-up guy looked confused. I got out of the car and shut the trunk with all that corn in it.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Pearl the dog come out of the cornfield. She had our gunny sack by her teeth and was dragging it over to Pearl the human. It was almost full of ears of corn. I felt like the biggest heel.
“Why, there you are, Pearl,” Pearl said. “Where on earth did you get that dirty old gunny sack? Drop it right now, Pearl, and get into the car!”
Poor Pearl the dog. She thought she was doing a good thing by hauling the corn back to the car. Anyway, we both got in the car. The only one not in the car was Pearl, and she was staring down the pick-up guy, who finally said something.
“You ladies have a safe trip back to wherever you came from,” he said. “And enjoy the corn.” With that, he got back into his pick-up and left.
After he was out of sight, Pearl told Grace to get into the backseat with Pearl the dog. Then she walked over to the gunny sack full of corn and drug it over to the trunk. That scrawny old woman lifted that heavy old sack and managed to get it into the trunk.
Pretty soon, we had made our way back to the road. Grace wasn’t crying anymore, but she was sniffling quite a bit. “Well,” she said. “He did tell us to enjoy the corn.”
“Yes,” Pearl said. “He surely did. Now…what should we do next week, Dear Grace?”
Well, I’m not there yet, but I almost am. Anyway, that’s what happened.
“Hi Pearl. I’m here are you and Grace?”
Pearl the dog came running. Her tail was wagging a mile a minute. I heard Pearl call out from the living room. “We’re in here, Essie. Please bring us some coffee.”
When Pearl the dog and I went for our walk, we made a pact not to eat one bite of that five-finger discount, corn. We really mean it, too!
This blog post is dedicated to my friends and family who live in one of the state’s that has been hit with insurmountable snow and below zero temperatures for month after month.
This is in no way meant to minimize the devastation that has and will continue to affect all of you. I will continue to send prayers your way…
This following teaching moment is for those who can use a few minutes of relief from tension.
As you know, I always like to be of help, so I have developed a little presentation to aid in getting you out of the white funk syndrome I call SOW, (Sick of Winter). Follow these steps and you’ll be smiling again in no time.
# 1, Stop eating all that comfort food or I’ll have to develop another kind of SOW presentation.
#2, Stand in front of a mirror and clap your hands 3 times while at the same time saying, “Ha, Ha, Ha.”
#3, Repeat #2 three times.
#4, Now, clap 5 times while chanting, “Ha, Ha, Hahaha.) Are you still with me? Okay, let me do a demo.
As you have just learned, you do the same thing with Hohoho…if you wish to advance to a higher level, use Hehehe and repeat 10 times.
Now for the cool down…or should I say SOW down?
The tune comes from a song by the pacemakers…no pun intended.
By the time you get to my age, you have probably found what brings you joy and what doesn’t. If you’re not that old yet, or haven’t found those things, (just things not people), that make life special, I’m about to give you a gift…Below are a few items I cherish.
Extra durable Mr Clean Magic Erasers.
I couldn’t live without one of these in every room. Mom used to clean her floor by dragging a wet rag around with her foot. I do that in the shower with one of these. I can get the soap scum off the floor and at the same time, I magically erase the callouses from the bottoms of my feet.
Another eraser thing. Revlon Root Eraser. Sorry girls, I can’t afford to spend a hundred dollars at the beauty shop once a month and if I don’t keep my roots touched up, I start to look like Whistler’s Mother.
See how her hair is brown in front and gray in the back? Mine is gray in front and brown in the back. Not very attractive. I could have fixed her right up. This new root eraser comes in a nifty canister, and can be used three times. Now that right there is a money saver! You can thank me later.
I love this rechargeable battery operated fake fire. I suppose it looks like a flickering candle, but it’s much more dramatic looking when you put it inside a frosted glass holder, or a more rustic one like this. It even comes with a remote, and I charge it with it’s own little charger, which also works on my Samsung phone.
Rodan and Fields anything! I love the Redefine Regimen. It works for me. I also use the Active Hydration Serums. One for my neck and one for around my eyes.
An absolute must have for me is Lash Boost. I didn’t use mascara for years because I really didn’t have any lashes. I tried to get some good shots of them, now.
My favorite hat. I found it at a quaint little thrift shop in Cashiers, NC.
My favorite books are both Jesus Calling. The pink one was a gift from my daughter-in-law, Amy, and the brown one was a gift from Gus. I read one every morning. I keep one book in the house and one in the RV.
I won’t get into my favorite Beasterhops, water towers, crowns, or Queen E pictures. I know you’ll appreciate that.
You can thank me twice, later!
I received these beautiful flowers, yesterday, from my cousin Greg Miller and his wife, Carma. They’re so uplifting! I love fresh flowers and appreciate the thoughtfulness that came with these.
We’re off to Dallas this morning. I have a doctor’s appointment that could have been avoided.
Remember my cute little poem that started with, “testing, testing, one, two, three, I’m prepping for a colonoscopy?” It had been ten years since I’d had one, which would have been okay, if my previous tests hadn’t revealed several polyps that had to be removed. The lab report called them precancerous. The doc considered my Francis family history of digestive tract issues, and recommended I come back in 3-5 years.
Ten years later, a total of twenty polyps were removed during an hour and a half long colonoscopy that normally takes twenty minutes.
A week later, I was driving home from a friend’s house, when my doctor called to tell me I had colon cancer. A couple of weeks later, I had nine inches of my large intestine, fifteen lymph nodes, ten more polyps, and my appendix removed.
The surgeon is positive the tumor had not spread outside the submucous of the large intestine in which case no further treatment is usually recommended. He decided to refer me to an oncologist for a second opinion. We’re headed that way now. I will let you know how it goes.
My reason, of course, for telling you all of this is to convince you not to delay having all of the preventive tests available to you. They save lives.
In my case, I have suffered some consequences of blowing them off, but if I hadn’t tired of my doctor and husband hounding me and finally had the dreaded colonoscopy, the big C would have progressed.
Stage I cancers have a survival rate of80-95 percent. Stage II tumors have survival rates ranging from55 to 80 percent. A stage III colon cancer has about a40 percentchance of cure and a patient with a stage IV tumor has only a10 percentchance of a cure.
I don’t like drinking that yucky stuff either, but now I have to do it every year, and I’ll enjoy every swallow.