Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Christmas Skates...

Christmas was always a wonderful time on Victor Drive. Not because there were elaborate gifts or fancy decorations, because there were neither of those, but because we were all together.

There wasn't a lot of money, and so I knew better than to ask for anything expensive. It was simply out of the question. Roller shoe skates were definitely more expensive than my parents could afford, but that didn't keep me from hoping. I must have been about fourteen years old the Christmas I finally did a little more than hope and actually asked for shoe skates for Christmas.

Every Friday night, my friends and I went roller skating at the large indoor rink on Summer Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. I loved to skate. I loved to feel the breeze in my hair as I went around and around the rink as fast as I could. It felt like I was flying. I loved to skate to the almost felt like dancing on skates. I had learned to skate backwards and thought that was the ultimate accomplishment at that age.

My children will tell you that I'm terrible at keeping secrets at Christmas. I want you to have what I bought you right now. I'M the one who can't wait. So, about two weeks before Christmas 1959, I started snooping. The house wasn't that large so where could they be? I finally found the roller skates under Mama and Daddy's bed. I breathed a sigh of relief. They were actually there...I was getting roller skates for Christmas!

Christmas eve came and we all opened our gifts. No roller skates. Christmas morning came and no roller skates under the tree. I really can't remember what else I got that Christmas. Christmas afternoon came and no roller skates. The way it all evolved is locked deep within the recesses of my memory...but the bottom line is Mama simply forgot. She forgot she had hidden my roller skates!

I wish I could remember if I confessed or if she simply remembered on her own, but by Christmas evening, I was the proud owner of a pair of pristine white shoe skates. I'd like to tell you that I've gotten better at keeping Christmas secrets, but...well, just ask my kids.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Thanksgiving has come and gone. Today is the first day of birthday. I love this time of year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I must makes me homesick. The memories come flooding in and I don't stop them.

I see Sharon and me as children making turkeys out of potatoes, construction paper and toothpicks. That was our contribution to the Thanksgiving table. I see my sisters and their families...all of us gathered around the table in the dining room on Victor Drive. Everyone is talking and laughing at once...I can hear it still.

I remember all the years - thirty-nine - that Bill and I shared the same birthday. I'm finally able to make it, for the most part, through my birthday now without tears...for I know in Heaven there are no tears.

Years pass...many years. My life is not what or where I imagined it would have been all those years ago, but I've learned that God is faithful. Through the disappointment, pain and grief, he has taught me that He is in control and is working all things out for my good and His glory.

Now, as I sit here at my desk and look out the window, I see the foothills of the Cascades across the valley and a ribbon of the Umpqua River below. It is the rainy season and a slow mist is falling. My Christmas list is on the desk in front of me, and I remind myself that there are presents to buy and packages to mail.

For now, though, I'm deep in thought. I'm thankful...truly thankful...for the blessings my Heavenly Father has given me. Three healthy, successful adult children. Each with God-given gifts and talents. Each uniquely different, and yet, in many ways, like both their father and me. I'm thankful for their wonderful spouses...each of which is very much my own child instead of an "in-law".

I'm thankful for the unbelievable JOY of grandchildren. I love each and every single one of them with all my heart. Each one is perfect...special...unique. I see "bits and pieces" of my children in them and it brings back memories of their childhoods. Three of my grandchildren are unexpected blessings: my beautiful dark-eyed adopted Peruvian granddaughter...a precious adopted Ethiopian baby boy, my grandson, whom I will meet for the first time on December 19th...and Mason, a beautiful blue-eyed baby boy, who technically is my husband's first grandchild...but very much my grandson too.

Had you told me years ago that Bill and I were not to grow old together, I would not have believed you. Had you told me years ago, that one day I would be living on a mountain in Oregon...I would not have believed you. Life is short. Life is precious. Why don't we know the things we know at this age when we're young and we need to know them? I don't have the answer either.

My life is different now. Now, I take one day at the time. That's all I ever had anyway. Now, I rejoice in the small things and try not to worry about the big things. I'm thankful for my macho logger tree polar opposite. He has had his share of loss and grief as well. Given the best of odds, we know that we'll be two very old people if we're married as long as we were to our first spouses. So, for now, we find joy living on a mountaintop tree farm, which we evidently share with the bears, cougars, bobcats and lots of deer...

Note: The photo above was taken Christmas 1968 when our firstborn was four months old

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Making memories in the Midwest...

We just returned from a nice, long visit in the Midwest. Prior to the past two years, I lived in the Midwest for fourteen years. Granted, I'm a Southern girl at heart, but I did enjoy my time in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa...

While my husband went trophy bass fishing on a lake in South Dakota with his brother, I stayed behind for a wonderful visit with my daughter and three of my precious grandchildren.

My daughter had just purchased a Viking sewing machine (drool), and the two of us set up a full-fledged sewing shop in the dining room. I washed, dried and pressed new pieces of fabric and cut them out...lots of them. Some, we made last week and the rest, she'll have all cut out and ready to sew. She liked that part a lot. It was so much fun having the children there and being able to try garments on them as I sewed. It always amazes me to see how much they've grown in the time since my last visit...

My grandchildren were happy that I was sewing for them but weren't too happy with the time it took away from our "play time". I did stop production occasionally to go for a walk, watch a movie, play "My Little Pet Shop" and tell stories. I even taught my eleven year old grandson how to knit. He amazed me by learning the technique in about ten minutes. I won't tell you how long it took ME to learn! I told him about the former professional football player, Rosey Grier, who needlepointed when he wasn't playing football!

Altogether, it was a splendid time of making memories in the Midwest...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009...The Heart Remembers

It was August of 1994 and I had just lost my Mother at the age of 90. It was a deeply sad time for me and my three sisters and our families. I was working full-time and still had an eighth grader at home, so I did my best to keep life steady and "normal". I had lost my Dad four years before. I was only 48 and had lost both my parents. Years later, my children would be 36, 35 and 25 when they lost their father.

I would drive the short drive home from work every day and spend my lunch hour writing about Mama...and my family. It ended up being the best way for me, for as I typed, those salty tears fell and I grieved. I compiled a cookbook of Mama's recipes and included the following story with it.

Happy Mother's Day, Mama...

“The Heart Remembers . . . "

A soft rain was falling as we left for the cemetery after Mama's funeral service. We were taking her back to the "hills" of Mississippi to rest in peace beside Daddy. Driving through the winding country back roads of the small Mississippi towns, I noticed the pines, the fields of green crops and the scattered farm houses. This country haven had been the home of her youth, where she had lived with her parents and her five brothers and sisters.

Ninety years . . . The last of four daughters, I had been born when she was forty-one. Although she had always been young to me, still I had not known her as my older sisters had. Often they had laughed and talked about their youth and the days "on the farm". . . picking cotton, milking cows, riding a school bus to a small country school and the friends that they had known there. They had also talked about the hard times - the times that come naturally with growing up on a farm in a small Mississippi town.

Now, the windshield wipers beat out a steady rhythm with the softly falling rain, as the slightly rolling patchwork hills of green stretched out before us.

She had been a school girl once . . . a young girl who loved to sing and play hymns on an old pump organ in the house where she had lived as a child. I remembered the one picture I had seen of her as a young teenager. Petite, fair and pretty. In a later picture, I saw a young lady holding a parasol, dressed fashionably for the day.

She had fallen in love and eloped with my father and would be married to him for the remainder of her life. A quiet gentle man, he had loved and protected her and perhaps even spoiled her in his own way. He had been patient with her, especially after a stroke claimed her speech and altered her personality.

Now I wondered about the early years . . . what her parents had been like, about her childhood, if she had always been as creative as I had known her. Winter mornings often found her quilting over the "wooden horses" set up in the middle of the living room. She sewed beautifully and made many of our clothes, even my wedding gown.

She was in her mid-fifties when she went to driving school and learned to drive . . . seldom more than thirty miles per hour though . . . much to my chagrin. Whenever she set her mind to accomplish something, she was persistent. Years later, I would see that persistence again and again . . . as she recovered from a major stroke twelve years before her death and struggled to regain a portion of her speech . . . after she broke her hip and spent many weeks in rehab learning to walk again, only to break the other hip two weeks after returning home.

I was a teen-ager before I knew that she had a gift for writing. For some reason, long since forgotten, she began to recount a story about her brother, Bill, and something that had happened to him on one of his cross-country trips as a truck driver. Had I realized then how quickly time would pass, I would have encouraged her to write about her life . . . and the events I so wondered about now.

I smile to think now that I never thought of Mama as aging. I knew, of course, that time was passing. I grew up, got married, had a family - just as my sisters had . . . but still, for the longest time, she remained the same in my eyes. Of course, I would notice the subtle changes that age would bring, but the Loving Care "soft plush brown" covered her gray hair; and her indomitable spirit remained the same. Years later, recovering from a stroke, the "soft plush brown" would be forgotten. . . and we would laugh with joy to discover that Mama had the most beautiful soft white hair, the perfect complement to her blue eyes . . . and she would laugh at our amazement.

As we continued our journey to the cemetery, a song on the radio reminded me of an earlier time and place . . . a Christmas just a few years past when Mama and Daddy had spent weeks apart . . . in separate hospitals in Memphis. My sisters and I had shared the vigil of staying with each of them around the clock. For the most part, Mama's speech was gone, but she managed to ask often where Daddy was. I can't remember now whether or not we told her the truth - or whether we tried to protect her, but I do remember an early December morning, driving home after staying with Mama at the hospital all night, and the words to the bittersweet ballad by Kathy Mattea playing on the radio.

“. . .They'd never spent a night apart. For sixty years she heard him snore. Now they're in hospital in separate beds on different floors. . . .she soon lost her memory; forgot the names of family. She never spoke a word again.. . then one day they wheeled him in. He held her hand and stroked her head. In a fragile voice she said, Where have you been? I've looked for you forever and a day. Where have you been? I'm just not myself when you're away.”

A few days after that, we were able to take Daddy to the hospital to see Mama. It was a bright but bitter cold Saturday morning before Christmas. Though he was still very weak, he was cheerful and excited about our excursion and the fact that we had planned a surprise for Mama. My sisters were already there as we rolled Daddy's wheelchair into Mama's room. There wasn't a dry eye in the room as they reached out to touch one another and Mama said, clearly this time, "Where've you been?. . .You've been gone so long."

Now, many months later, as we faced the task of dividing our parent’s possessions, representing a lifetime together, we cried together and remembered. Each little thing brought back a memory, and we talked about it and cried again. Our parents had not been able to leave a great deal of wealth or material possessions, but what they had given to their four daughters was even more valuable. People of a strong but quiet faith, they trusted God in their daily lives. Family was immensely important to each of them and they rejoiced with each of our successes or joys and offered support and caring during the hard times we faced. At times, we would believe we were protecting them from some "bad news" or tragic event, but they were never surprised or unable to handle any situation . . . and usually had some words of wisdom.

A family is woven together with many different cords or "threads". Perhaps the strongest thread, lasting a lifetime, is love. The most precious gift, given to each of their four daughters, four sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was a strong love for and belief in each of us.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Our Amazing Baby Girl...

It was December 1969 and our special Christmas gift arrived two weeks early...a beautiful baby girl. She was born fifteen and one-half months after her big brother. We were blessed and so thankful to have two healthy babies. What a wonderful time this was in our life...

Enjoy the pictorial video below of the first few years of our daughter's life. Don't forget to FIRST scroll to the bottom of the blog page and PAUSE (click the two vertical lines in a circle) the playlist music.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Buying our first house...

After the birth of our first child in 1968, we bought our first house. It was small...maybe a total of 1,000 square feet. It had a living room, dining room, small kitchen, three bedrooms, one bathroom, a detached one-car garage and a fenced backyard.

There was a redbud tree in the front yard which had beautiful pink blossoms each Spring. Although Bill had never laid brick in his life, he decided that he would build a small circular brick wall around the base of the redbud tree. What we didn't realize was that the ground around the tree wasn't at all level, so our circular wall appeared to be waving...up and down. We laughed about it and filled it with flowers. I believe that was Bill's last attempt at laying brick!

This was the beginning of many years of progressively successful "remodeling" experiences. We painted every room, changed the carpet, painted the kitchen cabinets, installed a new kitchen countertop and new bathroom tile. Bill constructed a narrow laundry closet in the bedroom adjacent to the living room since the kitchen was too small for it. We used scalloped window shades in each window and I made window treatments. We also painted the exterior of the house a light olive green with dark green shutters. All in all, it wasn't bad at all for two total novices.

Little did we know when we bought that first small house in 1968 that we would eventually own nine homes over a period of thirty-something years. Through the process of trial and error, we would learn a lot. We mastered painting, special textures on the wall, wallpapering, hanging drywall, refinishing cabinets and installing wood floors. There was even electrical and plumbing involved with hanging new light fixtures, ceiling fans and changing out fixtures in the bathroom.

We made our share of mistakes, but over the years our confidence grew and we were pleased with the results. We enjoyed the warm colors, rich woods and the look of colonial America. Home was comfortable and a welcome refuge for our family...

Friday, April 24, 2009

It seems like yesterday...

Memories are strange and funny things. Try to remember what you had for dinner three nights ago, and there's only a vague recollection; but the memories from forty years ago are fresh and clear. I hope you enjoy a brief look at the first few years of our firstborn's life. It really does seem like yesterday...

First, scroll to the bottom of the blog page and pause the playlist music...(just click the two vertical bars in a circle)...and then return and play the video.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Welcome to the world, baby boy...

It was August of 1968...and time for two important milestones in our life...Bill's graduation and the birth of our first child.

It had been fun preparing the nursery. I made soft yellow window curtains in a sweet nursery print, and we bought a maple rocking chair that would be with us for years to come. As I recall, the baby chest we used had been Bill's as a baby. We had given it new life with a coat of yellow paint...and nursery decals. (Years later, our firstborn would paint that same chest and take it with him to Vanderbilt University!)

On August 24, our firstborn made his debut. He weighed 8 lbs. 5 ounces, was 21 inches long and 4 weeks late. I had begun answering the telephone with "yes, I'm still here", when he finally arrived.

Welcome to the world, baby boy! How much joy can one heart feel!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spring snowfall...

It was March 22, 1968. Sixteen inches of snow had fallen, and the city was covered in an amazing blanket of white...a rare sight for Memphis.

After Bill's brief resident engineer appointment in Arkansas, we had returned home to Memphis and rented a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, upstairs apartment. We would need the second bedroom for a nursery, since we were now expecting our first child.

So, on that snowy day, while everyone else was sledding down the hills near the art museum, I was watching and laughing as everyone tumbled down those snowy banks....

Monday, February 2, 2009


There is a bank of memories for each of us. Sometimes, we have to reach pretty far back to retrieve them...but the memories are still there, layered in years of time.

In this case, I'm remembering an early Spring morning when I made the decision to "drop out" of college as a SENIOR. I had been sick and in the hospital for a brief time. I was working and trying to keep up with my college courses in spite of it. Somehow, at the time, it all seemed too much and the only decision to make. I remember even my college advisor tried to talk me out of it. My rationale was that I would return the following year and finish. As it turned out, it would be several years before I would finish a degree, and then, it would not be in English and Secondary Education, but Nursing. Amazing, the twists and turns our lives take...

After that, I took a full-time secretarial position for the Director of Distributive Education at what was then Memphis State University. He was kind and supportive and reminded me of Wally Cox, "Mr. Peepers". Bill now had the time to study without having to work so much, and I focused on making life a little simpler for both of us.

Bill finished his courses, but for some reason, wouldn't actually walk in the graduation ceremony until August. He took a full-time position with an engineering firm in Memphis. After a few months, they sent him to a little town in Arkansas as the resident engineer on a construction site there. We were young and didn't have children at the time, so we were elected to go. I had enjoyed my brief time as secretary to "Mr. Peepers", but I was looking forward to this adventure with my husband.

The great thing about accepting this short three-month stint in Arkansas, was that the company paid for everything: the move, our rent in a brand new apartment, our utilities and telephone. We took advantage of this time to purchase new furniture and a new automobile.

We spent weekends in the Ozark Mountains or touring other parts of Arkansas and Missouri or we'd return home to Memphis for the weekend with our families there. It was a good time for us and we enjoyed our brief visit in Arkansas...

In this photo, we're returning to our new little apartment in Arkansas after one of our weekend trips.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our first dinner party...

Forty-one years later, and I still remember our first...slightly disastrous...dinner party.

Thankfully, I was able to laugh then with everyone else and still think it's funny. We had invited Bill's parents, sister and grandmother to be our first dinner guests.

Bill and I had spent the morning cleaning our little duplex apartment. Between classes and working part-time for each of us, there wasn't a lot of time to do housework, but everything was now clean and polished.

I certainly hadn't perfected "cooking" yet, but had a few things I could do pretty well by then. I had prepared "Phony Spumoni", an Italian gelatin salad in a triple tier mold that morning, as well as potato salad, and set them in the apartment's ancient refrigerator.

Using a covered stoneware pot we'd received as a wedding gift, I'd made baked beans in the oven, and then prepared Southern fried chicken. I don't remember for sure, but I believe we must have had hot biscuits and a dessert.

Our dinner guests arrived. We enjoyed visiting a little while and then it was time for dinner. First, it was time to unmold the "phony Spumoni". I took it out of the fridge and turned it over onto a serving platter and a bed of greens. Splatter...splatter...splat...went the top two tiers of the spumoni. The old fridge had not done its job. We scooped up what we could that looked somewhat chilled, but the presentation had lost its effect.

I took the stoneware beanpot out of the oven and set it on top of the old gas stovetop. It burst. Yep. Beans went everywhere.

We all laughed and laughed, then ate what was left intact: fried chicken, potato salad, soupy spumoni and biscuits.

Christmas 1966...

It was our first Christmas together, and we were starting our own traditions. Christmas would always be special in our family...

Through the years, there have been many elaborate, beautiful Christmas trees...but none quite so special as this Charlie Brown Christmas tree. All that little tree had were colorful paper balls and tinsel.
I loved it just the same...

Monday, January 19, 2009

My twenty-first birthday...

It was December 1, 1966...our birthday. We had been married since September. It was my twenty-first birthday and Bill's twenty-third. Looking at the photo here, I'm wondering how many candles were on that cake...quite a few!

Funny how clothing and hair styles come full circle. I wish I had this ensemble I was wearing then now. Soft pink wool vest with covered buttons, an A-line skirt in the same soft pink wool and a white silk blouse. Remember, my Mama was a wonderful seamstress. The only problem is...even if I still had it, I couldn't get in it! I weighed all of 107 pounds here.

And, yes, I know. The hairstyle is still similar...just lots of silver now highlighted in blonde.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Our first home...

Our first home was a small, rented yellow brick duplex on a well-kept, tree-lined street. It was located about fifteen minutes from Memphis State where we were both students. It had newly refinished wood floors, a small living room, dining room, kitchen, 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom. There were plenty of windows which let in lots of light throughout.

What it didn't have was a lot of furniture or the decorating expertise I've gathered all these years later. Don't we always wish we'd known "then" what we know "now"...

Somehow, we'd inherited a used, ugly sofa sleeper that weighed a ton, and Bill made a large square table which held our tiny black & white television set. That was it for furniture in the living room. We laughed for years about that television, for it basically operated on a shoestring...literally. The TV would turn on and operated fine for a while...then the picture would start turning dark. Bill isolated the fuse or whatever in the back of the TV and attached a shoestring to it. When the picture started to turn dark, we'd pull the shoestring and wah-lah! The picture came back on! Years later, there would be televisions in several rooms of the house, but none that brought laughter like that one did.

For $35, we'd purchased a used, hardrock maple round table and four captain chairs for the dining room...all in surprisingly excellent condition. Thankfully, I'd brought my new bedroom furniture from home.

We didn't realize, or couldn't have cared less, that our little home was sparsely furnished. We were newlyweds and so happy to be together. We were college students and each working part-time. We would study at our dining room table together or at the MSU library. We'd have friends over or friends would have us over. It was a wonderful time...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The beginning of a lifetime...

It was Autumn of 1965 and I was falling in love...I just didn't realize it at the time.

I thought Bill and I were just very close friends - soulmates - who spent as much time together as possible, sharing our deepest thoughts and feelings.

I was still hearing from Ross who was at sea on the U.S.S. Forrestal, and Bill was still dating the tall redhead named Linda. I knew he wasn't serious about her, but she, evidently, had other plans. One afternoon in the BSU, I was sitting with a group of friends when Linda came over to our table. She had a notebook with her and commented directly to me, "I wanted to show you the menus I've planned for when Bill and I get married"...hmmm.

A loud bell went off in my head, and I remember the thought I had at that precise moment: "THAT'S what you think". Quiet little Baptist girl I was...but the thought was there all the same.

Not long after that, Bill and I started officially dating exclusively. It was a late Autumn afternoon, and we went to the movies at the Audubon Park Theater. When we came out, night had fallen and it was snowing....enormous beautiful snowflakes drifting down in the moonlight. We drove through Audubon Park with its magnificent trees covered in a blanket of white. Bill spun circles in the snow in his black little VW bug, and we laughed until we almost cried...

Bill asked me to marry him sometime in early 1966...I said no the first time. I'm not sure why. Maybe I was still a little scared of the whole idea of marriage...I don't know. I'm glad he asked the second time a few weeks later, when I promptly said yes.

We began planning a wedding for September 1966. We were both still in college and each working part-time. Needless to say, there was very little money; but we were young and in love, and that didn't seem to be a problem. My mother made my beautiful wedding dress. I had an exquisite bouquet of yellow roses, and my bridesmaids each carried a long-stemmed yellow rose with greenery and ribbons. The church was packed with family and friends. It was a beautiful wedding...

We couldn't afford an official "honeymoon" at that time, so we took special day trips to fun places within driving distance of our new little duplex home. We drove to Shiloh and toured the battlefields of the Civil War. We went to Pickwick Lake...and even managed to get an invitation to go below to see the inner workings of the huge dam there (Bill was an industrial technology major and loved that). We took a picnic to Shelby Forest. Without spending much money at all, it was still a wonderful time...

Leaving the church after the reception...back when everyone still threw RICE at you!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shadows and highlights...

As the new year has come and gone, I've been thinking about, and struggling with, how to tell the rest of the story...

Telling a story is much like painting a picture...only with words.

My grandchildren create the most wonderful paintings...quite magical paintings actually. However, my grandchildren haven't learned about shadows just yet. Their paintings are in pure dark shadows that would give their paintings realism and depth. Our lives are like this. The joyful times in our lives are the brilliant blues, reds, golds, vibrant greens and even bright silver...the highlights of our lives. Any painting without highlights is dreary and flat.

It's the valleys - the sad times...the losses...the grief - those are the times in which we grow. Those are the times that create the depth and dimension in our lives. Granted, while we're in those valleys, we don't comprehend that fact. We only feel the pain or loss. Those valleys are the times that stretch us, test us, strengthen our faith and propel us into the arms of our loving Heavenly Father.

So, life is made up of mountaintops and valleys. It's that way with each of us. I thank God for the mountaintops He has given me over the years, but I also thank Him for the valleys...and for being with me each step of way through them. So, as I struggle with how to put my life into words, I'll try to remember to be thankful for both the mountaintops and the valleys.

I discovered the following poem many years ago. It's still true today.

My Life Is But A Weaving
My life is but a weaving between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper, and I the under side.
Not 'til the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the Weaver's skilled hand,
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares, nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those who leave the choice with Him.
(author unknown)

(I recently discovered the treasured drawing at the top of the page in a box of old papers I was going through. The drawing is done in crayon on manila paper and is by my older son who just turned forty in August of 2008! My best guess is he was about 7 or 8 years old when he did this drawing. Actually, he did put some "shadows" beneath the ship, which was pretty clever for that age. He is now a missionary doctor in the mountains of Peru.)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

This Southern Heart of mine remembers the turn of many a new year in the homeland...celebrating with the traditional New Years Day meal of black eyed peas, ham, coleslaw, sweet potato casserole, turnip greens and hot corn bread muffins. Just thinking about it makes me hungry and homesick! I just talked with my sister Gerry and that was exactly the meal she was preparing...wish I could be there to enjoy it with them!

Here is wishing each of you, dear readers, a blessed 2009...full of good health, love, joy and peace.

Blessings to you,