Friday, December 4, 2009

Terry said, "I love you!"

My grandson is three and a half. We all talk a lot in both families, and so of course we have encouraged his learning to talk. It was only fair to him!
The first really coherent sentence I heard him say, was, "Get down now!" He said this to me on his second birthday as he struggled to get down from my lap and go play. I was impressed - both by his using a whole sentence at two and by his independence. I let him down!
Since then, we cherish every word we get from him, especially since we don't get to see him but every six months or so, since we live in Alabama and he in North Carolina.
He was talking a lot when we visited last June. He had turned three at the end of April. I sat in the back seat with him, and the conversation went like this:
Terry: "Thassa red light. That means we stop."
Gramma (me): "I see!"
Terry: "Thassa green light. That means we can go."
Gramma: "Uh-HUH! What does a yellow light mean?"
Terry, pausing to think: "Slow DOWN!"
He commented on school buses, flags, and told me all about Thomas the Tank Engine, his current favorite thing.
But he endeared himself to me forever with this exchange, which took place as I leaned over to hug him bye-bye. He was sitting in his car seat and got this funny little almost sly look on his face.
Terry: "That was me."
Gramma: What was you, honey?"
Terry: "I haf a cow in my pants!"
Turns out he had just farted, and his Mom said that yesterday he had broken wind and she had remarked that it sounded like' "Moooo!"
Quite creative to decide there was a cow in his pants!
We have talked to him over the phone since then, and it has been fun, but not terribly clear what he is saying, not being able to look at his face.
But on the night of December first, 2009, albeit at his mother's prompting, my grandson said, "I love you!" Clear as day.
It adds a wonderful new dimension to the love between us.
I love you too, Terry.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I have become a Lay Speaker for the Methodist church. This is both terrifying and exhilarating. I am now certified to be able to give messages to groups of people on matters of faith and Scripture. I have spoken to groups of nursing home residents and once to members of my own church, at the Sunday afternoon service.

I say messages, because it seems presumptuous to say sermons. I have not been to seminary. But the Lord in His wisdom seems to think that since I love to write and talk, He can use me for good. At least that's how I choose to look at it. I can't see being all proud of myself and boasting that I know so much. That would be, as one of my favorite authors, Judy Connor, says in her book, Southern Fried Divorce, "biggetyspeckled". You just know what that word means.

Along with giving messages, I am trying to listen and watch for them as well. I finally concluded that God reaches us in as many different ways as He made different people. Since He made us, He knows each of us intimately. He knows how we learn, how we "get it".

My degree is in Occupational Education, and I had to take quite a few classes on how people learn. Some are auditory learners, and get it when they hear the teacher say it. Others are visual - they'd better write it down or draw themselves a picture or a map. Still others learn by kinesthetics - by the feeling, hands-on doing of a task.

I used to read about some people's experiences with God. Some said they heard the voice of God. Some had beautiful visions, angel visitations. Some had awful accidents and woke up in a hospital with a realization about God. I was envious. (Well, not of the accident victim...) God had revealed himself to these folks in an unmistakable way. After that, they had no doubt He existed.

How neat, I thought. I wanted my very own vision, voice of God experience. Having grown up in the Presbyterian Church, I never heard of anyone I actually knew that had had that "born again" type experience.

In high school, I talked with a girl who was of a more fundamental faith. I told her, when she asked if I was saved, that I really wasn't sure. I asked her how to get saved. I wanted that rock-bound certainty about God. She gave me the basic formula. "Get down on your knees and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and be your personal Savior."

I couldn't wait to get home and lock myself into my room and do this.

I prayed to be saved. I didn't feel anything right away, so I prayed harder. Still no feeling, no voice, no hand patting my shoulder, no certainty. After a while, I had tears streaming down my face and I was begging. Still. No. Feeling.

I finally had to get up and go to supper. The next day I found the girl I had talked to and told her I wasn't sure it had worked, I didn't FEEL saved. Without missing a beat, she looked at me and said, "You must not have been sincere enough."

Well. I left her, feeling very upset and more confused than ever. I was sure I had been sincere. Why had I not gotten the certainty of salvation, the feeling I wanted so badly. After a while, a thought occurred to me. It was, "She's only sixteen, too - what did she know?"

Gradually over the years of my life, I have come to realize that God knew me very well, and knew that had I gotten a huge feeling, I probably would have thought I was losing my mind. He knew that was not the way I understood.

Instead, He has reached me through experiences with people and things I read. He has put people in my life to help me understand; He has shown me things to read that further my understanding. I talk, I read - and I have learned to listen for God.

God loves me. He knows me. He does speak to me. In His own way and in mine.

I think that is why He allows all the different faiths. So that maybe, if we listen, we can all "get God".

My prayer for you is that you will get Him, too.

Pastor John's Journal: God Loves Even the Wicked

Pastor John's Journal: God Loves Even the Wicked

I like this. God wants us all to come to Him. He is a most loving and gracious Father. And when we finally realize just how much we are loved by our Creator, it is so much easier to love our brothers and sisters. Grace and compassion, not judgment and disapproval.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Ok, Jules, you busted me! It has been way too long since I posted - I evidently immediately forgot my resolve to post at least once a week, which is what happens when I try to discipline myself. Stubborn as I am, I don't even like ME telling me what to do.

So - new tactic is to write first, play later. Before I get on the "Innertubes" as my son calls it, I go immediately to my novel that I am writing. Once I start writing or revising, I am hooked. It's the getting started that I have problems with.

A wise woman with a very happy husband once told me, " I used to never want to have sex with my darling husband because I was tired, thinking about the kids, interested in something I was reading, etcetera. But I noticed that once he convinced me to turn everything off and go to bed with him, I had a wonderful time. It was just getting started that did not seem to appeal to me. So I very wisely told him to just start with me and I'd catch up!"

Writing seems to work that way. Just start and your Muse will run to catch up.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I can post on this blog from my I phone. Yay! This will be short till I figure it all out.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Daydreaming, not Blogging!

It has been too long a while since I posted. As any inveterate daydreamer can understand, I got caught up on Facebook and its Farm Town, and posting on CoachCreativeSpace. Then my laptop crashed - serious withdrawal!
We had also been driving all over the country with little time to write. Our dedicated run from Atlanta to Chicago and back, twice a week, died last fall when the economy tanked.
We are back on that run now, so maybe I can discipline myself to blog more often - I am setting a goal of once a week. That I can do.
As to Facebook and Farm Town - I think the new will wear off eventually

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Dreams

When I was about ten, and far too old for the Easter Bunny legend, my parents still went through the whole Easter egg hunt thing for my younger brother and I. My mother would boil and color the eggs - I remember once she dipped them in such a way that they were plaid - and Daddy got the job of Easter bunny.
To this day, I can't bring myself to cut the grass before Easter Sunday. You have to have longish grass to hide the eggs in. And, of course, the tiny new spring flowers, the violets and the jack-in-the-pulpits and the little white and gold flowers have to be left, just for pretty.
There is this magical moment when you are little and rush out onto dewy grass, basket in hand, and gasp as you see the first egg, just barely visible in a tuft of grass. You scoop it up and scan the yard for the next one, run toward it stumbling with glee. There is finally a moment when you just can't find any more. Someone has to come and gently lead you back to the house, distracting you from the fever of the hunt with the promise of chocolate.
Like Christmas, even the secular part of Easter is still about love - love that parents have for their children, when they create those magical moments. And the spiritual side of Easter is about the greatest love imaginable.
I learned about a Father's love the Easter I was ten and awoke that Sunday morning, looked out into the back yard from my bedroom. I saw my Dad in his bathrobe and bare feet, loaded basket hung over his arm, gingerly making his way from tuft to tree root, carefully placing each egg in its hiding place. Hiding treasures for us to find, if we searched hard enough.
My earthly father is gone now. I have carried on his tradition with my own children, and soon will share it with grandchildren.
My Heavenly Father is, I believe, still hiding treasures for me to find, if I just look carefully enough.

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Disabled" Dreams

I collect stories of people who refuse to stay as small as other people's definitions of them. Of people who dream bigger than they "should". Who defy the odds, refuse to stay defined by a disability. I'd like to do a book about them. Not just the spectacular ones who go surfing with no arms, but the quiet ones who become ministers despite severe dyslexia, who start their own business because others would not hire them, who battle depression daily, yet soldier on. My heroes are the people who get out of bed each day, lift their chins and say, "What can I do today?" Not, "Who has to help me?" or, "I can't do anything, I have_______."
They come up with creative solutions to get around their disabilities. They refuse to be victims, don't need pity, and usually can be found uplifting someone else.

If anyone has a story I can use for my book, please contact me at:
These folks need to be celebrated.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Love Dreams

I have been married for over thirty-six years. I've been in love with him for forty-one. Maybe it's Valentine's Day that started me thinking about love.

Little girls dream of finding that one true love, aided by books, movies. Often unrealistic dreams are encouraged by the "happily-ever-after" stuff of fairy tales. So that when a perfectly good man comes along, we sometimes don't see him. Or if we marry him, we expect perfectly loving days and nights of glorious passion.

Here's a news flash, girls - it's not like that. It's much less, and much more. It's real life, and real love.

One of my favorite songs id from "The King and I", called "Something Wonderful". The king's head wife sings of the reality of loving a real human man:

"He will not always say
What you would have him say,
But now and then he'll say
Something wonderful.

The thoughtless things he'll do
Will hurt and worry you,
Then all at once he'll do
Something wonderful.

He has a thousand dreams that won't come true.
You know that he believes in them, and that's enough for you.

You'll always go along,
Defend him when he's wrong,
And tell him when he's strong
He is wonderful.

He'll always need your love,
And so he'll get your love.
A man who needs your love
Can be wonderful."

It sounds so old-fashioned in this day of lack of commitment, quickie relationships, divorce and do your own thing. But Robert Heinlein said, "Love is that state in which another person's happiness is essential to your own."

Really? Not, "He doesn't make me happy" or "She doesn't want sex with me often enough"?
We should be trying to make them happy? How odd.

But, as many odd things do - it works. When we try to make the other happy, we get back what we want, usually more abundantly than we would if we stood around yammering about our needs and wants not being fulfilled.

I love my husband. He is honest, hard-working, kind to strangers, loving to our sons and me, not to mention our three dogs and grandson. I plan to live the rest of my life with him, unless he goes first.

We met when I was fifteen and he seventeen, and bonded like swans, for life. I told my father I was going to marry him someday, and he said, "Oh, you're too young to know that. You'll fall in and out of love a dozen times before you marry."

I said, "Oh, no! I can only do this once!" It was too big and all encompassing, this love, this absolute pit-of-the-stomach certainty that he was The One. I have no idea how I knew. I married him five years later, when I was twenty. We eloped and later my father wrote me a sweet letter wishing us well.

There have been many trials through the years, many times when either one of us was tempted to chuck it all and be single. But there remained the bonding, the certainty that we were supposed to stick. So we have apologized, looked the other way at each other's foibles, fought loudly and passionately when we couldn't look the other way, and ultimately fallen asleep in each other's arms, cuddling like puppies.

This is real love, I'm afraid. I think we are stuck with each other. And as I watch him sleep, I think I love to be stuck loving him.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Daydreaming and A.D.D.

You don't hear a kid labeled a daydreamer anymore. Now they are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and medicated. I wonder at this.
When I was a child, kids were left to their own devices to understand the school rules and fit in with them. If they didn't, they were called lazy, daydreamer, troublemaker, bully. Now there are scientific names and medications. Are we more sophisticated or are we wrong? Everyone understood back then that not all kids were headed to college. Now we try to make them all alike with meds. More on this later. I have Sleep Deficit Disorder and I am going to treat it with.....sleep, of course!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daydreams and Reality

We have a new President. I wish him well.
That said, I want to talk about dreams and dreamers, politics and Presidents, and the problem with putting forth dreams that people so desperately want to believe in, and then dashing those dreams or simply letting them dribble away.
Emotions are running very high now with the inauguration of President Obama. People of color dare to hope that things will be better for them. People who work hard but for low wages hope to see their pay rise to a living wage. People dream of a better life for themselves and their children.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I have a dream." He dreamed of the day when people were judged by "the content of their character, not the color of their skin." What a lovely dream.
Have we achieved this dream, now that Obama is President? Who would have dreamed that a black man would be elected President? The thought nags still - was he elected for the content of his character, or the color of his skin? I think both were in play. His stirring words, his charisma, his ability to inspire confidence and hope, contributed greatly. Did also the color of his skin, so different from the same old white guy candidate, contribute to his election?
We shall see. I wish him the best. I hope he has not been so elevated in the minds of the populace that they will hang him for being human. Rock stars are only as popular as their last hit song. Obama can't afford to be a rock star President. He can't afford to dash the dreams of those who put him there.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How to tell if you are a daydreamer

If you think you may be one - you probably are. But just for fun, I'll post a list so you can check off and see whether or not you might qualify as a daydreamer. Unlike many such checklists, it is a good thing if you score high. Unless you are one of those people who prizes conformity and convention. But you probably wouldn't be reading this blog if you were. Here's the checklist:
In school, have you:
1. Ever forgotten about the math problems because you were trying to copy the drawing of a clown on the worksheet?
2. Lost the class discussion because you were reading something more interesting?
3. Looked at all the blank pages in your textbooks and wished you could fill them up?
4. Watched the birds out the classroom window and wished you could join them in flying away?
5. Written your own poem instead of reading the one the class was studying?
At work, do you:
6. Avoid boring jobs you would have to sit in a cubicle to do?
7. Choose work you can do with your hands that leaves a large part of your mind free to think your own thoughts?
8. Doodle all over your desk blotter?
9. Create fantastic scenes in your mind during a boring meeting?
10. Get fired because you were staring off into space or talking too much?

If you've checked more than a few of these, you are probably one of us.

The trick is to recognize who you are and have always been - a daydreamer - and then find ways to be who you are that won't get you fired or thrown out of school. Try to find creative ways to get school credits, for example, by taking tests instead of having to sit through the classes. That's assuming you have studied on your own. Choose jobs that have you doing what you would choose to do if no one were making you do anything. If you haven't had training in writing, art, music, or whatever your passion is, get some. Try to become a real professional daydreamer and get paid for your writing, art, music. Don't try to be what someone else thinks you should be if it sounds like screaming boredom. You won't be good at it and eventually you will get fired or quit. If you can't get a job in your chosen field, choose something like cooking or driving or painting houses that allows the creative side of your brain to operate while the practical side is doing the work.

Daydreamers jealously guard their thoughts, and really hate it when they are interrupted. Better to be a skilled craftsman and work alone than be in an office where anyone can hold your brain hostage at a moment's notice.

Look at who you have been all your life. Then be that person, unashamedly. Daydreamers seldom hurt anyone else. Just watch out that others do not squash you.

Have a great, creative, dreamy New Year!