Sunday, July 19, 2009

Our sweet girl!

I'm sooooo excited -- we're going to Madison this weekend to visit Kate. Well, we're going to visit Casey and John too -- of course we are! And we get to babysit Saturday while they go to Birmingham! Here are two of Casey's latest photos of Kate. I can't believe she's almost 5 months old!

Casey has updated her photography website and blog. Check them out!

Since I'm plugging Casey's business -- I have to make a plug for Anna's design business. They're both very talented! Anna's done some beautiful work. Check it out here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

One Small Step

This week is the 40th anniversary of the famous "Walk on the Moon" in 1969. There were many skeptics back then who thought it was some kind of Hollywood production -- these were the same people who thought "wrestling" was real, by golly!

There are many life events where I remember where I was when it happened -- when President Kennedy was killed (in school) -- when Martin Luther King was killed (living in Memphis and on my way to the community center and having to go back home because the city was going bezerk) -- when Richard Nixon resigned as President (a sophomore at Auburn Univ.) -- when Elvis died (working at a small newspaper in Camilla, Georgia, and I drew an editorial cartoon for the paper) -- when the World Trade Center was hit by "terrorists" (working at Wiregrass Electric, and we couldn't tear ourselves away from the TV, for days).

But the landing on the moon the summer after 9th grade was one of the most poignant memories of my youth. I was at a bowling alley in Memphis with my best friends Kathy and Rose -- and I'm sure some boys were involved there too. Why else hang around a bowling alley? We watched it on the TV there and were amazed. The pictures are a little grainy -- but hey, we didn't have HD back then!

What an era growing up in the 60s! We went from full skirts with petticoats to bell-bottoms and halter tops! We were only allowed to wear dresses to school until 1969 -- and then it had to be pantsuits. By my senior year we could wear blue jeans -- bell-bottoms of course, with embroidered flowers down the leg and the hems frayed out! Those were the days before pantyhose -- when you had to wear a girdle or garter belt and hook the hose on!

Kids today complain that there isn't anything to do, but there wasn't much for teenagers to do back then, either! Hanging out with my friends at Shoney's in my family's Rambler stationwagon -- baby blue, no less, with the little wood strip down the side! Sneaking into the drive-in in the trunk of a friend's car -- to watch werewolf and vampire movies! And you better remember to take the speaker out of the window before driving off! Stores weren't open on Sundays -- and the stores owned by Jewish families closed on Saturdays. Going to church or community dances on the weekends -- always with a live band. That was when the dirtiest dance was the "gator" -- nothing like this booty stuff they do today!

We were living during the "cold war" and worried about nuclear war. My friend Susan had a bomb shelter in her basement -- and all public buildings had signs for where to go in case of a bomb. I had many nightmares during those years about trying to get to a bomb shelter -- you know, where you're running but you just can't get anywhere? It was the beginning of technology and computers -- and the end of innocence. I can imagine how my parents must have felt back then -- kind of how I feel now when I see kids with pink hair, tattoos and piercings all over their faces -- how I feel when I see "big brother" becoming real life.

One of our required readings in high school was the book "1984" by George Orwell, written in 1949. The novel has become famous for its portrayal of government surveillance and control and its increasing encroachment on the rights of the individual. The government was "big brother" and ruled every aspect of their lives. Orwell may have had the date wrong, but the changes I see now in our government are closer to big brother every day.

Sorry, I had a Nanny moment and got sidetracked! Get off your soapbox Cary and back to Apollo 11 and the first moon walk! For those of us who were between kindergarten and college in 1969, the "walk on the moon" was the biggest thing that had ever happened in our lives. It marked our lives just as the Great Depression and the Second World War marked our parents' and grandparents' lives -- and how "September 11" will mark my children's lives. Wow, where have the last 40 years gone!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Life Mission Statement

In our Sunday School lesson this morning, we were discussing mission statements, and we were challenged about our own personal mission statement. So that got me to thinking about what my personal mission statement would be? What do I hope to accomplish with my life here on Earth -- and after?

My Personal Mission Statement: To give my all to my God first, my family, my job and my community with a smile and a good attitude.

I didn't always have a good attitude. Just ask my mom about my teenage years! Moody was my middle name! I grew up in church -- we were Episcopalian. But I always wanted to know how I could be sure I would go to Heaven when I died. Episcopalians don't always stress a personal relationship with Jesus -- you get confirmed and it's assumed you're a Christian. Then in my teenage years, I went to MYF with my Methodist friends and got involved with Young Life. That's when I first heard about dedicating my life to the Lord -- and I accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour at a MYF retreat when I was in ninth grade. One of the most defining experiences of my life was the month I spent on Work Crew at Young Life Camp Frontier in Colorado.

Ask me where I feel closest to God, and my answer is in the mountains. They're beautiful and majestic -- and I can just see the majesty of God there. I still can't believe my parents let me fly (for the first time ever) alone to Denver (I had just finished my junior year of high school), then take a bus to Colorado Springs where a bus from the camp picked us up! I can't believe I did it either -- I was friendly but kind of shy (yeah, I know, you can't believe it!). I didn't know what my job at camp would be when I left, and all the way there I prayed, "Dear God, I'll do anything, just don't make me clean bathrooms!" I figured since I had worked in restaurants, I might get to be a food server -- the really cool job!

Well, I get there and guess what my job was? Yep, cleaning bathrooms! To this day, I still have a thing about clean bathrooms! Another girl and I had the job to scrub toilets, showers and sinks and mop the floors of the campers' bathrooms (they had one big one for the girls and one for the boys with multiple showers, etc). And boy they could make me really mad tromping in mud on my freshly washed floors!

But, see, God has a plan -- and He's always made me learn things the hard way! I learned to do a good job at whatever He had for me to do -- and to accept whatever He had for me to do. So I became an excellent bathroom cleaner! And God has rewards! The guy on Staff who was responsible for plumbing was "really cute"! So when someone dropped a ring down the drain or got it stopped up, I sat on the counter and talked to the cute guy while he fished it out! And I learned how to take a drain apart! Life lessons!

And when I got home from that summer, I had a better attitude that's pretty much stayed with me all my life. I've had tragedies -- my parents got divorced, we had a baby boy who was stillborn, and my sister died from Lupus at age 32. But I've also had many blessings -- my husband and two wonderful daughters and my granddaughter Kate -- a good job where I could be close to home -- some great friends and my mom close by!

So my desire at the end of the day is that I've been able to make someone's life a little more pleasant that day -- that I've been able to make my community a better place to live -- that I've helped my children to become responsible Christian adults. What more could I ask for? Thanks, Lord!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Aaaah . . . a holiday!

I told someone at work yesterday that it would make me happy if I didn't have to change out of my pajamas for three days over the holiday weekend! It was a nice dream, but I'm having fun getting my den back in order today. We got the big 25-year-old entertainment center moved out (with the help of one of Stacy's students) and the new cabinet delivered. So now the "vintage" stereo system is hiding under a bed until Stacy gets his "man cave" built -- don't know where we're going to store the monster speakers -- and I'm shopping around for a new surround sound.

Here are some more photos from Father's Day weekend -- plus my new den furniture . . .

We got to Skype Kate this morning! She's now on cereal and filling out more! Hopefully we'll make a trip up to see her in a couple of weeks.

We're going up to Fox Lake to visit the Byrd's for the 4th, then our church is having the Family 4th at the Rec Park on Sunday, so we'll be going there and I'll be helping to serve hot dogs and take some photos. We had some really great fireworks last year, so looking forward to more and better -- but it's gonna be HOT! And not in a good way! We haven't gone under 95 degrees in weeks, and most days it's over 100. Better take my hand-held funeral home fan!!!