Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Smells are a Strange Thing

A funny thing hit me today. You know, when an amazing smell overwhelms you and takes you right back to your childhood. I had this exact thing happen to me today. I had to run pick up lunch for the office. When I walked in this small meat/veggie cafe, I opened the door and I was carried back immediately to my childhood, walking in my Aunt Lorene's house, on Sunday after church. The smell, of her wonderful fried chicken on the stove and biscuits cooking in the oven. Today, that smell took me by such surprise, I found myself just standing there for a minute. What wonderful memories flooded my head. I told Martha, the hostess, I just had a childhood memory flood. I shared my precious memories with her (those of you who know me, know if I meet someone, I know their story and they know mine). We laughed about how smell triggers such wonderful memories. I gathered my paper bag of food and headed out the door, thanking Martha for the wonderful trip back to my childhood.

As I started driving back to the office, I happen to think of more smells that reminded me of childhood. List below
l) Mother's pineapple upside down cake cooking in the oven
2) The smell of rain early in the morning....always reminds me of picking morning glories as a
3) The smell of the elementary school I attended. When you would go in the building in the
morning and smell fresh yeast rolls baking.
4) The tobacco odor from Grandpa Jess' pipe.
5) The smell of Camay soap.
6) The smell of fresh cut grass...loved walking in it.
7) The smell of leaves burning in the fall.
8) Noxzema
9) Cotton Candy and Candy Apples...remind me of the wonderful fairs that Dad and I attended.
10) Aquamarine Lotion that my sister, Helen, used daily.
11) The smells of a farm...like cow patties and chicken houses. These remind me of wonderful
summer days spent at my aunt and uncle's house in the summer.
12) The smell turkey cooking when waking up, as a child, on Thanksgiving morning.
13) The smell of vanilla...reminds me of those wonderful snow days and making snow-cream
with my Grandpa Jess.
14) Although I hated the job....the smell of clothes being taken off the line outside and the smell
of the fresh sheets on the bed.

However, there were smells as a child that were quite offensive. These follow:
1) The number one offensive smell to me as a child...was Dad's poached eggs cooking
in the morning. I thought this was the most horrible smell in the world.
2) The smell of Soltice rub.
3) The smell of the motor oil that my Dad used to start a fire in the old coal stove at the country
store he owned.
4) The smell of creases (creasy greens) cooking. You had to leave the house then.
5) The outhouse at my aunt and uncle's house.

It was a wonderful day. A day that has taken me back to some 40 to 45 years. So, in this fast paced rat race that we are in daily, take a few minutes to remember a more simpler time. A time when just the smell of fresh cut grass was something you took for granted. Maybe today, will be your lucky day and a whiff of something will remind you of your childhood. Give it some thought, you will be glad you did and who knows, it may just bring a smile to your face.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Day of Reflection

I really started this post several times and just couldn't complete it, because I just could not put my feelings for the day in words. I kept reflecting on what this day meant to so many people and I kept thinking and remembering a dear friend I had as a child. You see, when I was young, up until I was in ninth grade, whites and blacks were not even allowed to go to school together. They even were looked down upon if they really associated with each other. I kept reflecting back to the Grand Theatre and a Saturday afternoon matinee, in which I wanted to attend with my friend, who just happened to be black. Dad tried to explain to me, that we could go to the movie, but we would not be able to sit together. I guess, I let this bit of information just go in one ear and out the other. But, when we jumped out of the car and headed to get our ticket, my dear friend headed to a different line. I was quite confused. When I asked what she was doing, she told me, "I have to sit upstairs." I still did not understand. Because I had been to the Saturday movies, many times, with friends and we had always sat together. But, this was different. I got my ticket and went in to have a seat. As I searched for my friend, I looked toward the balcony and there she was smiling down at me. Later in the movie, I headed to the concession stand to purchase my prized box of Milk Duds and as I was heading back to my seat, I noticed the steps to the balcony. I started up the steps. All of a sudden, the manager of the theatre, stopped me and said "Angie, you can't go up there." I told him, I just wanted to sit with my friend that had come with me to the movie. He tried, again, to explain to me that the balcony was for "colored." This made no sense to me. Again, I explained that she had come to the movies with me. He knew my father and mother, as he was also the "coffee man" for the country store owned by my parents. I went up those steps and there sat my friend, all alone, in that balcony. We sat together, sharing our Milk Duds and watching the rest of the movie.

After the movie, we headed out the front of the theatre, to meet Dad. Before we could reach the car, the manager opened the door of the car and was explaining to Dad, that I had insisted in sitting with my friend in the balcony. Dad kept saying it was okay and the manager kept saying that he didn't want in trouble. Dad again insisted it was okay. It was just two friends, not that one was black and one was white. We were simply friends.

This also happened, when I wanted to take my friend to the swimming pool. Mother tried to explain, that my friend could not go with me because of the color of her skin. So, I decided I would go to the swimming pool in her neighborhood. Well, this was also not understood by the manager of the swimming pool. They really didn't want this "white" kid at their swimming pool. When Dad picked me up that day, I, in a childlike manner, tied to explain and ask...why couldn't I do things with my friend. I felt then, that Dad could not answer me, because he didn't understand it either. He just kept saying "that is the way it is."

So, as I watched the inauguration of our 44th president, Barack Obama, I thought of my dear Sharon and how proud she must be of the day. For me, it was a very emotional and spiritual day. For this man, who stood on the steps of the capital, which was built by slaves, taking an oath of office for our country. To watch the 1.8 million people on the mall in Washington, was overwhelming. To see all the colors that make up this United States, coming together for such a special event, I was brought to tears. It was a day of celebration. Our country has come so far, yet racism still exist. On the news, just last night, a white family in Georgia, who supported Obama, had placed Obama signs in the yard. The mother had taken her three children to Washington to attend the inauguration. She got word, while in Washington, that someone had burned her house to the ground and written hate words, in reference to President Obama, on the garage door.

Please, people, how can this still be taking place in our country. I know this is just pure ignorance at work. I'm not sure how we can educate those so ignorant. But, I hope that parents today are explaining to their young children that someone who looks and believes differently from them, are still good people and are also productive citizens. I know one of the most staggering statistics yesterday, was the fact that 1.8 million people were visiting Washington and reports are that the police department of Washington, did not make one arrest. This statistic shows, we can be united as one. We can work together to educate people, for the good of country and our existence. It does not matter what race, religion or political party, we are humans, a mixture of all colors and beliefs. Just because others believe differently or look differently, we should not judge. Just ask yourself, "did I take the time to even get to know them and did I even try to understand their stories or beliefs."

I'm sorry, I got on such a tangent. But, I just feel hope for our country and I am most proud to be an American. Please give President Obama and his administration a chance. Keep them in your prayers. We created the mess of the world and we, united, can change the ignorance that is rampant in our society.

So, Sharon, my thoughts were with you yesterday and how important that day must have been to you. It certainly was to me. So, why don't we celebrate by going to the movies.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Praying for Snowflakes

On this Saturday morning, with a temperature of 12 degrees, I am praying for snowflakes. However, the sun is shining bright and the Weather Channel is reporting snow tonight in the mountains only. But, they have been wrong before and I'm praying for some snowflakes.

I would love for it to snow enough to make snow cream. As a child, one of my favorite memories,was making snow cream with my Grandpa Jess. He would never make snow cream with the first snow, always saying it was God's way of cleaning the air. But, come the following snows, we always made snow cream.

He would get a big bowl and spoon and we would head out to gather the snow. He was very particular from where he gathered the snow. But, after our bowl was filled, we would then head to the kitchen and add cream and vanilla, stir good and eat until our tummies were so satisifed with the sweet treat. These were such treasured memories spent between a grandfather and grandchild.

Ryder and Jackson

Ryder and Jackson, our twin grandbabies, were born July 03, 2008. They have certainly taken on their own individual personalities over the past six months. You have Jackson, who is more reserve and Ryder, who I know is going to be the class clown. They are precious. I get asked daily, "can you tell them a part?" The answer is currently, "yes." You see, the only way I can tell them a part, is the fact that Ryder has a tiny birthmark in his hair-line. I'm not sure what I am going to do when he grows lots of hair!! But, for now...I have that problem knocked.


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The Grandbabies and their parents

The Grandbabies and their parents
Our dear son and family