Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mom's Black Purse

I have four sisters.
They live in North Carolina, Oklahoma, Dallas, Texas, and the Panhandle of Texas, (which is a different world than the rest of Texas). We seldom see each other, but every great now and then we do all manage to get together. Last year I was hosting a great Thanksgiving get-together, so I hurried out to buy groceries enough for the families. The check-out counter was loaded with turkey, ham, cottage cheese, dressing, sweet potatoes, and egg nog.

As I lifted my purse to the counter, I noticed how shabby it had become. My secret pal had given it to me the spring before, and I had used it all summer out of gratitude, but now as I frowned at the daisies on the navy background I made a decision...time for a new one. Hurrying over to the general store, I frantically searched for just the right one...not too big, not too little, lots of pockets, solid black, silver metal parts(so it will match the most outfits...the rest will just clash, ok.) It took me a while, but I finally found the one in the entire two aisles worth that I could tolerate and bought it on the spot.

Thanksgiving. They arrived. We ate, visited, did dishes, laughed, played Balderdash, all the things families do, until day was weary and evening approached.
Time to collect our purses and go. Mine was right here.

No wait. It seemed a little different. Was it mine? No. That's not my phone. That one over there? "That's mine," said my mom. I see the scarf...and we all started laughing. All the purses were black--not too big, or little, lots of pockets. Crazy sisters. My daughter brought hers out from under the table. Black. Not too big....lots of pockets

Is it possible to inherit a purse preference gene?
So if you are related to me, and haven't sent me a picture of your black purse yet, join this pile.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day Madness

We are close to the end of school.

The kids are antsy; so are we teachers.

I have to share with you a picture
that one of my students drew
to illustrate a Bible verse.

It made my day.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Words that Describe Me...Thursday Thirteen

This Week for Thursday Thirteen we were asked to choose a letter of the alphabet and then pick thirteen words, beginning with that letter that described us. I chose F.

Frumpy...yes, I'll admit it. I wear clothes like I'm the potatoes in the sack, and I keep the same comfortable shoes until they wear off my feet.

Friendly...only to a point, however.
I detest small talk, but I do smile at people. Does that count?

Family-oriented...I'm one of those who can discuss my family's faults, but don't like it when other people do, because I'm pretty--

Fierce when it comes to defending them. My husband calls me a mama bear.

Faithful. Once I come to a reasoned conclusion on beliefs and loyalties, I'm pretty difficult to shake away. ...
I didn't say impossible, but it takes earthquakes to budge me.

Famished. Usually, I can eat food.
Just about any food.
Therein lies a problem...

Fat. Unless I'm looking in one of those clever mirrors
they put in the dressing rooms of chic clothing stores
to make middle-aged dumpling shaped women
look like celery stalks,
I have to face facts.
Yes, that--all of that-- is little old roly poly me.

Futuristic. I like to launch my dreams way into the future. For instance: "When I'm retired, then I'll learn how to ski." (Skinny chance) or, "I'll sky dive later"...much later...when I'm immortal and don't need a parachute because you never know with parachutes who packed them and manufactured them and they just might not decide to work and then where would I be? Falling screamingly through the atmosphere?
(All you purists wincing out there, I know I sort of corrupted the meaning of the word, but I'm not a purist, or I would have picked the letter "P". Ok?)

Fearful. Can I help it if I have a superb imagination? I can see all those things that could happen and yikes! Life is scary for us dramatic imaginers.

Foreign. Wherever I am, I always feel a little foreign, like I really don't belong on this planet.

Favored. It amazes me that I've been so blessed in this life. I feel like I was born into the hand of God or something. No. not my doing. Just "Who Am I?" to deserve all this? No. not riches or fame or all the usual stuff...just so many people around me who care.

Feisty. Rather like a little chihuahua. Well, a plump little chihuahua that never catches up with the object of its fierch barkings.

Fuddy Duddy--yep, that's me. stuffy. old fashioned and conservative. Well, I'm not quite sure about the stuffy part actually...because every now and then I get all flamboyant and fire-breathing...but not often.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Grandparents' Day at School

(While all my students wrote letters to their grandparents,
I decided to write an essay about my own.)

I'll tell you about my Grandparents,
those who poured their lives into my parents
and into me
and into my children.

I see them resting side by side,
under emerald mounds of wild marigolds.
young again,
Serene, at peace with God.
Sheltered from the frenzy of this world
and from its pain, of which they had their share...

For this one brought home a bronze star and a purple heart from the Great War.
Trembling in the trenches with other frightened boys,
scarcely old enough to hold a gun, he breathed the caustic, mustard gas that withered his lungs, while his eyes saw sights that seared and scarred the senses. It aged him and he lived old for the rest of his life, still a fighter; but, knowing that this war hadn't really ended all wars, he preached a different campaign, one to change the human heart, for the war that smolders there breeds all the others.

And this one held her baby son and watched him breathe his last. Just a fever, just a flu, and the fragile little love was gone. For all her days she remembered him, his shining sapphire eyes--such a bright boy, with that perfect dimple in his chin, like his daddy's. For solace, she carried Psalms within her heart and taught them to her two little daughters. She quoted them still at ninety, when her eyes failed her, for faith and words never did.

That one lived through howling winds out in the prairie dust bowl, tossed by a tornado,
slammed by the shed, his leg bone driven into the hip socket and fused there for seven months. "You'll walk with crutches all your life," the doctor predicted. But it didn't happen. After a short, brush arbor, revival prayer, he ran, and left his crutches in the dirt. He raised his seven children on the dry Panhandle sod, and they rose early to milk the cows, and they climbed whirling windmills under a topaz sunrise. When Grandpa was old, he groaned softly with each step, uh-uh-uh, yet though his bones were hurting, he always managed a thank you, smiling up at strangers, for in the end we were all strangers to him.

And my grandma over there, well,
not one of her two dozen grandkids could beat her at a game of checkers. She was the queen.
I remember her hair, bound tightly to her head with silver clips, and her voice--singing softly, while she rocked one grandchild or another on her ample lap:

"Little children, little children
who love their Redeemer are the jewels,
precious jewels, His loved and His own.
They shall shine on that morning,
His bright crown adorning..."

So there they sleep--my grandparents--gems under grass green velvet, alive and crowned with forever, released from the yoke of time.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Sweet Little Grandbabies

You knew it was coming sooner or later.
I can't help it. They are simply adorable.
If you want to read more about them,
follow the link to Babystepper's blog.