TGIF

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Happy Friday Y’all — wake up and smell the coffee!

Always — always when Friday rolled around my steps had more spring to them because the work week was coming to an end and I knew it. One more day and I could breath a little easier, relax a little more, heck, I could stay in my p.j.’s longer! I looked forward it it.

Around four o’clock on Fridays, all work begin to slow to a crawl and I found myself watching the seconds click off the office wall clock willing it to click over to five o’clock. Most other area law offices had already closed by noon, so returning calls after my lunch hour was fruitless. I never tried to settle any accounts after noon. In fact, I only left messages if I needed someone in our or another office to do something before noon the following Monday. Otherwise, whatever it was waited until the following work week began. Those days were so simple.

By the time I ended my career, I had switch from easy law cases (bankruptcy, evictions, real estate closings, etc.) and got into criminal law and things changed. Criminals are not the easiest cases but they can be the most rewarding, especially when you win the good fight and save some fellers skin. After the switch, Fridays were just as important as any other day of the week, as well as most Saturday’s and sometimes even a Sunday thrown in if Mr. Vernon and I were working on a capital case. Gosh I miss those days when I felt like I was going some good for some pour lost soul. I’ve often wondered over the years if indeed what we did truly helped, and changed someones life, or if they just kept on keeping on with their wild ways — even though at the time every client had high hopes of a new and improved future existence. Over the years I’d always wondered if our clients lives had been changed for the better by our efforts, if they indeed had turned a corner and were more productive citizens. Unless they are a repeat client in which case you have your answer. But the others that you never hear from again, you usually don’t get an answer to that question.

Then one day I was standing in line at the post office and I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to find Jim, an ex-client of mine, standing behind to me. Jim was the darkest skinned man God ever created, so much so that his pearly white teeth was in sharp contrast to his skin colour and he was the biggest man I’d ever know. He towered over everyone and had forearms the size of small tree trunks and a neck as large as my waist! Even though he was giant sized, I always thought of him as a gentle giant. His demeanor and cadence told you he was nothing to fear, except I knew what he had once be charged with — and that was to fear for sure and for certain — but here he was, standing there and smiling down at me. I think he wanted to pick me up into the air and hugged me right then and there but all he could say was that he never thought he’d see his Angel again. — He’d called me his Angel. — I guess to him it was an angel’s intervention that kept him alive and out of a prison bed. To me, it was my job, and I was at that moment as grateful as he was that he was in a post office line, waiting his turn and free to live out the remaining years of his (as he told me) harmonic life.

It was nearly Christmas the year I turned and saw him standing behind me. I think about him this time of year and wonder how he is doing. He reminds me that I did not waste my time all those years ago on people others would have discarded.

Of course, there were a few folks I wanted to walk straight into the “….” chamber. I’m only human. I make no apologies for feeling this way. Jim was not one of those though. I’m glad he didn’t suffer more than he did and that his time on the other side of bars was limited to the time it took to try his case. That, in my opinion, was long enough to change his life into one any mother would be proud of. So Jim is my reward for my work. At least it let me know I did some good in this life.

My time with Mr. Vernon and before that two other attorneys of equal merit was an education in being non-judgmental of others situations. “There for the grace of God, go I” is a good motto to live by.

It’s Christmas time. The time of giving of oneself and of joyfulness of the heart. Good deeds and kindness. I pray, dear Lord to: Let it last for more than a few days or weeks in most folks lives.

Bless you my dear reader this Christmas season. Happy Christmas and a very happy Friday too.

impromptu moments: (teaching young children about the world around them)

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Yes, that is an earth worm being held in the hand of my granddaughter Hannah Grace, age 4 while her cousin Destiny, age 5 looks on. If you look closely each girl is relaxed and ”in the moment” as they discover how it feels to hold the earth worm. Destiny’s mother Rebecca is telling them all about the earth worms habitat and habits and how important they are to our garden soil and, well, that they must keep them safe and not destroy them.
As I looked on I was drawn back in time to more than sixty years ago —

The Summer of 1949 was extremely hot. The red clay soil was so dry it had turned to a fine powder. It felt like silk between my toes and after mid morning became too hot to walk on without shoes. I remember this because I remember that I walked with my grandmother Nannie to a nearby neighbor’s farm to swap her freshly made butter for jam and on the way back I wore my shoes.  All I need do — all these years later — is close my eyes and drift back in time to feel the powdered clay pushing up between my toes and smell the aroma of the pastures on my grandparents farm. This is something that has never left me.

In a way it is the roots that have grounded me all my years. I know the peoples I belong to, what I am part of. The history. The family. My family.

Lately I have found myself revisiting a time very few of my friends can equate to because they did not live it.  They did not live in rural America, did not know the feel of the hide, the stench of a wet barn nor the sweetness of that same barn after being freshly laid with clean straw. They did not swing from rafters and they certainly never tipped a cow.

I wish more than life itself my grandchildren could experience what I experienced as a child or at least when I tell them of my life they would completely understand it.  But I fear the stories are too removed from what their lives consist of today for them to fully appreciate how wonderful it was all those years ago.  At times they look at me in wonderment when I tell them of my grandparents farm.  I’m completely convinced they think I’m making up stories for their entertainment.

When they are elder — sixty years hence — will their grandchildren understand how it felt for them to hold an earth worm? How then can I expect them to know how it felt for fine silken soil to filter through my toes. But I want to keep trying to explain all the things that were so wonderful when I was their age so at each and every opportunity I become an impromptu performer and charm them with my stories.

 

 

 

 

 

A Letter to my Valentine

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On this day when couples declare their L-O-V-E for a special person in their life, let me declare mine for you. 

You leave me breathless – You make me melt – You put a smile on my face each and every morning. I even willing want to wash your socks! I do not mind the ‘downside to you’ because the ‘upside to you’ is so spectacular. I love how you let me know exactly who you are; and how you look past my flaws to actually see who I am, and approve! I love how there is zero pretense and total  transparency between us. 

The best kind of love finds you when you are being totally yourself! 

So, Happy Valentine’s Day, my Special–nameless (because this ‘kind of stuff’ embarrasses you)–Someone. ;-) I <3 U

Things to do on a sunny day

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Okay….I agree, this is not funny and no one would actually do this. Right?

The other things no one would ever do on a sunny day are:

  • tie the new puppy to a park bench and quickly skedaddle away — note pinned, “free to good home”! 
  • fill a box full of toads, wrap it up with pretty pink ribbon, then present it to your mother.
  • put two helpless goldfish into the Culligan water cooler.
  • plant Cannabis in the middle of the vegetable garden!
  • use shingles as a Frisbee — sailing them from a roof top into the street below.
  • have a peeing contest — outside of course — to see who can hit ‘the spot’ in the neighbor’s yard. 

No one would do these things, right? No one, that is, except my twins, who on any given sunny day were full of surprises. The twins, whom I let live, turned 30 this past year.  

Let me just say for clarity that when these things happened I was at work, earning the money for the clothes on their backs and the food on their tables. They should have been more thankful but kids will be kids, or is it boys will be boys . . . whatever, Martha! They were a mess growing up but they were also so lovely and dear sweet little ones too. I often wondered if I did the best job I could do with them. Then today came a note, a thank you note, from one of my twins for a present I gave him not too long ago.

“Mom, thank you so much for my socks and the thermos,
the thermos keeps my coffee hot until the end of the day,
but your love fills my soul a whole lot more than any gift!
Your love will always be in my heart Mom!!! Love you, Kevin” 

And my heart melted — I may not have always done things perfectly — I may have spent too much time on case files and pleadings at a time when they needed my undivided attention — I may have spent too much time with my writing, as well — but in-spite of any motherly imperfections, my kid loves me! 

WHAT WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN EVERY DAY LASTS LONG AFTER WE ARE GONE . . .

 

I  advocate Action Against Abuse and pray a silent prayer you do as well . . .

Around 1946  my Mum Marie stood tall against abuse — long story short, because she stood tall that year three years later she became my Mum when she married my Daddy bringing with her two new brothers — the elder of my new brothers had (in the beginning of his relationships) a struggle with being abusive (what he saw is what he repeated) but the younger (by six years), who was influenced more from his mother’s new marriage to my Dad, never suffered the same condition. Why is this true? I think because he repeated what he witnessed and what he witnessed was a loving and happy couple.

Why am I telling you this?  Because I need to say it. And, because I want you to hear it.

I also remember doing things, just like my Mum, standing with my hand on my hip, just so, just like she did. This made my father laugh more than once when I was a kid. Kids mimic and are like a sponge soaking up everything parents do and the proof is in the words we, as adults, speak to our own children and sometimes, stop in our tracks and say, “Where did that come from” or “I sounded just like my Mom or Dad!” Yep, there you have it …. so speak love, compassion, empathy, kindness and charity and teach those principles.

 

I beseech you to take-care with the little ones. They are so precious.

 

Thankful Thursday

 

 

 

 

Today I am having a Thankful Thursday — and I think God must have something to do with it because——–

 

—– I know I am not perfect even if my mother seems to think I am but then she thinks so because I tend to do odd things for her that most daughters would roll their eyes over….to me she is worth the doing because she is a real sweetie at least 98% of the time :) and the other 2% … heck y’all, I just put her fanny right to bed! So, God still loves me (as does my Mum) even if 2% of the time I fall short myself.

—– God blesses beyond belief — why do I say this? Because, good things happen in Huber Heights, Ohio . . . trust me on this one: for example of all places in this massive country of ours (USA) you would never expect to run into someone who was once your neighbor in North Carolina three/four years ago. I mean maybe running into them in Cincinnati or Columbus or even Dayton or Cleveland (larger cities than Huber!) might happen once in a blue moon for .1% of the US population but to run into someone in a smallish town like Huber . . . well, the odds are stacked against you. As stacked as they are, this has happened twice, once to me and today once to my daughter. Both mine and my daughters was at a gas station while we were filling up. Now what are the odds of that? My awesome God does work in mysterious ways.

So, thank you God for all you do even if I may not always be worthy.

The Passing of a favorite aunt

RIP: My sweet dear Aunt Runt (Capps-Aulman) who passed away this morning after a battle with infection that caused coma and then a heart attack…she is 94 and in a better place….we’ll all miss her because she was such a bright star in the family. She was a beauty shop owner and ran two for over thirty years and one of the best of the best hair stylists in the business. She stopped cutting hair nearly twenty years ago but continued to keep up with the industry and talked about hair styles non-stop! Love you Aunt Ruth … Winds At Your Back Old Girl :)