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1LinerWednesday – Retreat

I’m leaving on a jet plane.

I am not sure if you will hear much from me during the retreat because…well, I am retreating. Maybe a photo or two.


1LinerWed is brought to us by Linda Hill. For all the rules click here ===> Linda G. Hill

Be sure to read all the comments and see how others handled their one line.

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birthdays, Blog, Family, grandmother

My Grandmother’s Birthday

IMG_1315Today is my grandmother’s birthday. She passed away at the age of 72 which makes today 122 years since her birth. She passed away on her birthday and maybe that’s why I always remember the date.

My grandmother, Bertha Rose, had a difficult life. Her father was ‘run out of town on a rail’ (I talked about this in an earlier post if you care to read about it) and she was only 16 when her mother passed away — possibly from polio. She married my grandfather a year later when she was 17. He was 34.

My grandfather worked for the railroad and they moved to Roanoke, Virginia. She raised her younger siblings so they moved with her when she married. As I write this, I cannot imagine how hard this was on all of them. As far as I know, she never saw her father again – he passed away when she was 19.

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My father was born 13 years after she and my grandfather married. I know she had a stillborn child because she did talk about it. I have no idea when that was, where she was living, or how or where the child was buried. Things were so much different then. I just know losing a child hurt her deeply. My father would remain an only child.

She also talked about her mother, who was very strict and walked with a cane. She never spoke of her father except somehow we always heard he had been run out of town. I know from my genealogy research he had been married before and it is unknown if he just left his wife or if they divorced. Either of those would have been severely disapproved of my great- grandmother’s very staunch and religious family.

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 9.37.56 PMMy grandmother was a beautiful woman. Of course, I do not remember her as a young woman, but I love the photos I have of her when she was younger. I found an old faded negative of her with her hair down that I hand-colored years ago. I hold on to this mental image of her because I think she was a pretty tough cookie inside.

My grandmother worked as a private nurse. I am not sure where she received her training, but I know she was an LPN. I suppose it gave her some flexibility when they had to move around. The people she worked for held her in high regard and I know the work took a toll on her.

IMG_1316 (1)There were struggles financially. My siblings and I lived with her and my grandfather for a while when my parents went to look for work in another state. I think it was hard on them. I remember her sitting on her bed crying because she had to sell her precious black walnut trees for lumber. I will never forget that day. Those days with my grandparents were some of the best of my life and I will always be grateful for the love they gave us.

She was an excellent cook. She canned vegetables and made homemade jelly. I was often chastised for dipping my fingers in the hot paraffin wax she used to seal the jelly. She played the ukelele and as a woman of faith, she read her Bible faithfully. We often gathered at her feet while she peeled apples for us – each apple peel in one long continuous string. On Christmas Eve, she always slept with us — her four grandchildren — crosswise in the bed. That sounds like something I would do.

On my grandmother’s birthday, my dad always sent her a dozen roses. He always asked the florist to attach each of our names to one of the roses. The day before her 72nd birthday, she was hospitalized. My father left Ohio to drive to Virginia to see her. He did not make it before she passed. But the roses were there. I hope she got to see them.

Happy Birthday, Mam-Maw. Thank you for all the love and guidance you tried to give us through the years. You are not forgotten.

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time. ”
Banksy

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From Vaginal Discharge To Hospital Discharge: On My Way Home

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“I love that this morning’s sunrise does not define itself by last night’s sunset.” This quote is the beginning of my daughter’s blog this morning, These words apply to all of us and we are wise to remember them — especially when things seem bleak. She is recovering from a hysterectomy, but many of us have been through similar trials, surgically or not, and loving the renewed life we have been given gives us reason to rejoice.

To my daughter, I am anxiously awaiting your call after you see the doctor, I know how hard the recovery road has been and how desperately you want to be 100% immersed in your chaotic, beautiful life. I am honored to have taken this journey with you. I love you.

My Unbelievable Journey To An Inevitable Hysterectomy

The beautiful sunrise that greeted me the morning after my hysterectomy

“I love that this morning’s sunrise does not define itself by last night’s sunset.” ~ Steve Maraboli

When I awoke the morning after my surgery, I was greeted by a brilliant sunrise. I knew I was going home today and this sunrise was aligned with my spirit which was joyfully dancing with the idea of a new beginning. It was symbolism at its finest and a beautiful reminder that today was a new day and my life was about to change for the better.

That morning was spent relaxing, hanging out with my Mama, and waiting on a doctor to visit me during rounds and discharge me. I missed my wife and daughter and I felt myself growing more and more restless and anxious to get home. I was no longer entertained by Bravo T.V. and wanted the beautiful…

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A Heavy Heart

There are many things I choose not to write much about on my blog. I always wanted this to be a place without stress or arguments — a place of well being for all who visit here.

All day I have felt such heaviness about the violence as a result of U.S. decisions to remove troops from Syria. I am certainly not qualified or educated enough to know what our role in the Middle East should be. But we were there.

All I know is that too many innocent people are suffering and dying. And more will follow. People we pledged to stand behind. It is hard to talk about the joys of my life when so many are suffering.

Why must there be so much hate? I do not understand. I will never understand.

I support organizations on the ground giving aid. I will vote. And I will pray.

Blog, flowers

Carolina Bonsai Exposition

Yesterday we spent the day out and about enjoying our neck of the woods. The first stop was the North Carolina Arboretum.

This weekend is the North Carolina Bonsai Exposition. The weather was perfect, warm with cooling breezes. It really felt like fall. We had tickets for a lecture on “The Art of Bonsai Pottery,” featuring bonsai pottery artist Ron Lang. He has done some interesting sculpture and talked about his transition to making Bonsai pottery.

The art of Bonsai takes great patience, skill, and knowledge. It is a lifelong study for those dedicated to the art. Bonsai in its simplest definition is the art of growing miniature trees in shallow containers. The tree should mimic the shape of its larger counterpart. The selection of the appropriate pottery is an art unto itself. The pottery should be a complement to the tree but never take center stage.

There was also a display of Ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arranging) as well.

We had a few errands to run where I ran into an old friend at one of the big box stores. I took a moment for a selfie then moved on.

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From there we took a drive to Bullington Gardens although they were closed when we arrived. There were still some wonderful flowers to enjoy. I am thinking about taking a watercolor class there and just wanted to reacquaint myself with the route to get there.

Afterward hubby suggested we stop for Thai food. We have been wanting to try a particular Thai restaurant in Hendersonville so last night was the night. I think our server was new so the service was not great. I ordered my favorite dish, Panang Curry, but unfortunately, there were no red or green peppers nor were there any kaffir lime leaves – both flavors I feel are important to the dish. It was still tasty, but hubby was not as fond of the zucchini they used in place of the peppers as I was.

On the way home, the moon was large and hanging in the sky as if it had been purposely placed there to beckon our eyes toward the heavens. The moonlight shone in the bedroom windows most of the night until the much-needed rain started to roll in during the early morning hours.

It is still raining and we are thankful. It is good to see it raining again. We have almost had an inch of rain today. The sound of the rain makes it a perfect morning to linger over a cup of coffee and catch up on my reading.

Blog, music

Song Lyric Sunday – Mr. Bojangles

This week, along with a SHINY NEW GRAPHIC, Jim asks us to use Drifter/Loner/Transient/Vagabond as topics for our song choices.

A sleepless evening lets me post this soon after midnight. I will be sleeping in on Sunday.


The first song that came to mind was a classic — Mr. Bojangles. The song was written and originally recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker.

In the mid 60s, Jerry Jeff Walker was put in jail for public drunkenness while in New Orleans. It was here he would meet the inspiration for his song.

The moniker Mr. Bojangles was the nickname for Bill Robinson, a black tap dancer who performed in a number of successful films in the 1930s. Following his success, many black street performers became known as bojangles.

Over the July 4th weekend in 1965, a murder took place which precipitated the arrest of many street people in the area. This particular man was one of those arrested and told Jerry many stories of his life. When he told the story about his beloved dog getting hit and killed by a car, the mood became somber. Someone in the cell asked bojangles to dance to lighten the mood. He obliged with a tap dance.

Jerry Jeff Walker did not write the song until a few years later and would record the song himself in 1968.

“Mr. Bojangles” was recorded by a great number of well known artists over the years. The version most recognizable to me was recorded by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1970 so this is the video I will share. Live from Farm Aid 1985.

The Lyrics from Songfacts.com:

I knew a man, Bojangles and he danced for you
In worn out shoes
Silver hair, a ragged shirt and baggy pants
The old soft shoe
He jumped so high
He jumped so high
Then he’d lightly touch down
I met him in a cell in New Orleans, I was
Down and out
He looked to me to be the eyes of age
As he spoke right out
He talked of life
He talked of life
He laughed, clicked his heels and stepped
He said his name, Bojangles and he danced a lick
Across the cell
He grabbed his pants, a better stance
Oh, he jumped so high
Then he clicked his heels
He let go a laugh
He let go a laugh
Pushed back his clothes all around
Mr. Bojangles
Mr. Bojangles
Mr. Bojangles
Dance
He danced for those in minstrel shows and county fairs
Throughout the south
He spoke with tears of fifteen years how his dog and him
Traveled about
The dog up and died
He up and died
After twenty years he still grieves
He said I dance now at every chance in honky tonks
For drinks and tips
But most the time I spend behind these county bars
He said I drinks a bit
He shook his head
And as he shook his head
I heard someone ask him please
Please
Mr. Bojangles
Mr. Bojangles
Mr. Bojangles
Dance


Jim Adams provides the weekly topics that serve as the inspiration for Song Lyric Sunday. Check out his blog for the rules and read some of the other contributions in the comments section.