Make New Friends But Keep Ye Olde
by DebraThomas
Feb 15, 2012 | 4913 views |  0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
By now you are probably singing the rest of the song to yourself. I know I have many times since I started thinking about what to write tonight. There are other sayings of course and some that ring true no matter how old we were when we learned them.  I learned a new one tonight.

I was talking with a friend that has been a true friend since we were in Elementary school. She and I went to church together, we went to school together and even though family time, and work schedules and well, just life in  general got in the way, we didn't get to sit and laugh like we used to.  But since I have not been working for the past few years and have gotten back to my roots, so to speak, well, the friendship has picked back up and we talk. And we laugh. And we share.

You may know her already, her name is Laura Hollingsworth Vaughn.  She is the owner of the Weaver Hardware store in the little town where we grew up. She has been on the local news displaying her handiwork of caning chairs and she has been written up in the local county newspaper. She is a celebrity of sorts in this neck of the woods, and she well deserves any credit she gets for being such a great person.

She has a laugh that is contagious. She has a spirit that makes you feel better about yourself like a warm spring day. And she has a story to tell.....about just about anything.

Tonight she called to see how my mother is doing and to check on me since I am battling this rotten cold, or allergy or whatever has decided to invade my body and make me sneeze and cough and sound like a man when I answer the phone.  

Well anyway, Laura had me thinking about the above saying. To say someone is an old friend doesn't sound so politically correct these days, sounds as if we are talking about age, but when you are the same age as someone, its ok.  I think.  She is an old friend and we keep things old school.

We can talk about times in Weaver when life was simpler. No complications and no pressure. Oh then there were boys and well, everything changed. And then we start to laugh again. She has stories on that too.

Proms; photos; graduation; vacations; you name it. She can remind you of it and make you forget the aches and pains and problems of the day. At least for a while anyway.

Tonight the saying she taught me was something she said she thought she heard in an old movie and she made her husband watch the movie about 40 times, and the saying never appeared, but she remembered it just the same.

The saying she heard or imagined or was "Seek God before you Seek Breakfast."

I like it. As a matter of fact, I love it. She said it in that southern drawl she has and all I could imagine was someone taking a plank of wood and painting those words on it and then it would be on bumper stickers and sewn into pillows and sold all over the world, making tons of money for someone.  Of course it wouldn't be us, because you cant patent words, but you can put things on your tombstone and you know, I was thinking of having something witty like, "Are you sure I'm really dead?" or Laugh at the things I told you and Remember the things I taught you, because I cant remember them anymore, so how about reminding me of them?

But if I could have something for folks to remember, I guess it would be, Make New Friends But Keep Ye Olde......Cause they are the ones that are your comfort in sad times, good times and if you haven't heard from your old friend, look them up.  I hope you have a Laura in your life. She is a blessing, and I mean that.  And she will be ticked at me for bragging on her, but when someone knows you all through the years and still wants to be your friend, you cant beat that.

Look up an old friend, and if you cant look up an old friend and catch up, then make a new one.
There is always someone that can use a smile or a door opened for them or a newspaper that you are through reading, or a seat in crowd. Doesn't matter if you don't see them again, at least you will have made their day a little nicer and hopefully they will pay it forward.

Just imagine what a wonderful world that would be, if we all had a friend. A true friend. New or old.
Disco, Saturday Night Fever and the Alabama Connection
by DebraThomas
Jan 29, 2012 | 3158 views |  0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I have been thinking about this particular blog for a while now. Usually they just fall out of my head and I type them, but for some reason, I just didn't feel like I had all of the information until today.

See, I confess, I am a 70's Disco Dancing Queen. Yep, oh you cant tell it now that I danced at the local small town disco, but I did. To look at me now with a much shorter stature than I had 40 years ago, and white hair and sometimes depending on the weather, a limp.....but during 1977 and 1978, I was a dancer. Not a professional dancer, except in my mind, but I was a dancer all the same. I could just hear the beginning notes of a song and I knew what moves I was going to make on the dance floor before I ever left the house.

I had the outfit. I had the dress that was longer and would sweep the floor, or the polyester suit that had a really, shiny, tacky blouse with it. Somewhere there is a photo of that outfit, and I still remember how great I thought I looked on that dance floor. Of course, it was only me that thought I looked that good, but hey, I liked it. And if the truth be told, the other folks thought they were just as great looking.

See, in the small town of Weaver there were no discos. As a matter of fact there were few boys at my school that I would ever even dare ask to dance with me, much less, go to a disco, but there was one boy, Billy and he was a dancer. He was a good dancer too. I saw him when we all had PE in the gym on rainy days and he could put on a Bee Gees 8 track tape and he could do moves like I had only seen on American Bandstand. He was that good.

So I got the courage to tell him one day how well I thought he danced and he told me that on Tuesday nights, there was a place up the road from Weaver and it would have DISCO night for teens. We were not old enough to drink, but the bar would open up and allow teens to come and dance and they would serve regular Coke and Sprite type beverages. Ok, I am in. Take me and show me this place that sounds too good to be true.

But it was true.  It was dark and dingy but to me it was as close to NY City as I was going to see. It was not exactly like the Disco in Saturday Night Fever but they had a disco ball and they had some Christmas lights that went around in a circle, so to me that was close enough. The Christmas lights were originally used with aluminum Christmas trees I think, but have no proof.

But it was magical. It was wonderful. It was fun.  I danced the night away and wanted more. I was hooked. I found my niche.  I invited a friend of mine, by the name of Ann and she invited her nephew and before long, we had our own table. We had a table full of dancing Disco folks!

Great times. Lots of dancing and we were known in that Disco. Man, did I feel like I fit in somewhere. For the first time in my life, I fit in.

To this very day, I can hear just the opening line of Stayin Alive and I start tapping my foot. Or my finger, depending on which one is not hurting at the time. Oh such memories. 

Now, the Alabama connection to Saturday Night Fever.

While watching the Biography show the other night, there was a man on there by the name of John Badham. He is from Alabama, but I don't know what city, but he was the director of the movie, Saturday Night Fever. He was the Director!! He is from the same state I am from and yet he had such a hand in changing the way America dressed, acted and the music we listened to for a time in history. But not only was he the director, something he said caught my attention.

He said that when they went to the Disco that was used in the movie, that it too was not anything like he expected. It was pretty much like the one I had gone to all that long ago. He said the part that bothered him was the floor and the lighting was so drab, so he remembered where he grew up in Alabama that there was a club and it had lights in the floor. They had lights all over the place and he found out that the manufacturer of the lighted floor was in NY City, so he had them make a floor like the one in Alabama. 

Can you imagine?  The iconic floor in the movie was from something he grew up with in Alabama!!! How neat is that!!!

So it makes me wonder if I was ahead of my time by going to a club on Tuesday nights that only served Sodas and had bad lighting, but made such an impression on my life.

I might not be able to Boogie now, but I am really good at singing the songs, as long as you dont turn down the radio.......I dont remember all of the words like I used to.  But in my mind, I am still a Dancing Queen, only 17.........

Remember ABBA?  Now how did the rest of that song go??????
Yep, That Was Me With the Blue Lights A Flashing....
by DebraThomas
Jan 29, 2012 | 2379 views |  0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Evidently I have a knack for drawing out stories. Even if it is someone I don't know and they just happen to stop me for some reason, oh say, for a traffic violation, I feel the need to talk. And Talk, and talk. Not a rant, mind you, but just carry on a long, drawn out conversation as to why I am in the particular shape I am in causing the person to stop me. Now, I have all the respect in the world for the men and women in the line of duty, and I was very cordial and even thanked the gentleman for giving me the ticket, but it was the ordeal that was so well.....humorous.  Or so I thought. My husband, well, he didn't think it was quite so funny. So what do you think?

I went to a meeting in the small town I grew up in and visited with friends afterwards. We haven't seen each other since before Christmas and there was so much catching up to do. Well, Debo and I stayed behind and we visited for quite some time. It was great. Lots of laughter and just a great time of fellowship between two old classmates. Ok, so I move on and do the other things I have planned before I am on my way home for the evening.

As I am turning towards the road bringing me home, I have on my blinker and am at a stop, waiting to turn right. Ok, all is clear, so I proceed. About the time I start to turn, I see an Alabama State Trooper eye me and not in the good way. I get about 100 yards down the road home and here come the blue lights. I pull over in a church parking lot and sure enough, he comes behind me. Lights flashing. Ok, so here we are on a busy Sunday afternoon and all I am thinking, is well, wonder how many folks know me in this red Honda and are saying, well I wonder what she was doing.....speeding probably. Nope, its stranger than that.

As the gentleman is putting on his hat to exit his car, I roll down my driver side window and proceed to hold my arms out, towards the heavens, so that he can see, I am not armed, but I need to tell him something.  Now, I know from being around law enforcement people, (and watching my fair share of COPS on Saturday nights) that to try to exit the car is going to end up with me in trouble, so as he is getting out of the State car, I am telling him, I have to open the door because I have to tell him something. All this time, he is telling me that I am to stay in the car, and I hear him,  but I am talking at the same time, and finally get the point across that I will have to pitch him the keys to my car, because you're going to want my license and they are in my purse and my purse is in the trunk, so do you want the keys or do you want me to get the license? And while he is contemplating what the crazy woman is saying, I am shouting, "Now don't shoot me, cause I am coming back there and get my purse."  So you can imagine by now the crowds of people driving through the local Sonic so they can see what is going to unfold and the dogs across the street are barking, and of course its around 5 in the evening, so EVERYBODY is driving by.  Well, here I am and I get the purse and the license and I am in the middle of my long story about how I am coming from Moma's house and I am in the middle of taking the blankets and other things to her up at the Rehab Center, and go into the details about her falling on Christmas Day and then she broke her tailbone and so on.  The man, bless his heart, is standing there looking at me as if I am an alien, as in from outer space, because he is trying to get a word in edgewise and the whole time I am telling him, " well I guess you can tell I am telling the truth, about Moma and the Rehab Center cause,  I mean, who else would have older lady clothes and Depends in their trunk. "  Well, the nice State Trooper, just asked me for the insurance card and about the year of car and just the usual stuff. Then he said, do you know why I stopped you?

Now to a normal person, I guess that would have been the first thing in their mind, but to me, I was just not sure and told him I had no clue.  So he proceeded to explain to me that its against the law to drive with no seat belt, and I need to get it fixed. Ok. Should have let it go at that, but NOOOO   I have to talk. So I tell him that I have planned to get the car to the dealership for an oil change and will have them look at this but I don't want to be there all day and so I have to wait until my husband is off so he can take me and he has to work all of those weird shifts like you all do, and so it just hasn't been a good time.  (WHY AM I STILL TALKING??) 

So, I tell him that I wont lie to you fella, but I just couldn't get it on. See, and I bring him to the area of the car where he can see that yes, indeed my seat belt is in a knot.  Yep, a knot. Not where you can do anything about it, not where you can see it, but where it is inside the hole it goes in and wont come out, so unless you are a very small person and have legs that enable you to drive from the trunk, my seat belt is not going to work with you.

Even the State Trooper, a Mr. Webb, said he had never seen anything like that and that he has no idea who to take it to or where I am going to get it fixed, and he went back to his car and shut the door.

So I stand there, on the side of the church parking lot, tugging at this seat belt, and making a larger scene I am sure than he was really ready for, and proving that the seat belt would not budge. All of this time I was thinking, well since I told him about Moma, and he sees the seat belt in a knot, he wont write me a ticket.

No such luck. He comes back, and I must say, he is a very tall man. I felt shorter than normal next to him, and was still trying to work on the seat belt, then I noticed it was beginning to get dark.  Lights still going, but there was a small problem that I couldn't share with him, see I have a headlamp out too.

I don't drive at night, so I make sure I am home before the need to turn them on comes around. If its raining, forget it. And I wont drive it if there is a funeral procession I have to be in. Well, not yet anyway.

So he writes me the ticket. Then he proceeds to tell me that I need to get it on because what would happen to Moma if something like an accident was to hurt me ?  Nice man, and then the strangest thing happened.  He turned to leave, and I thanked him.  Thanked him for the ticket. Yep, right there on the side of the road, I thanked him and then I felt stupid for thanking him and told him. Mr. Webb smiled and got back out of the car and told me a story about how his grandmom had died not too long ago and I could see he just needed to talk.

Well, normally I would have more sympathetic, but as I said it was getting dark and all I could think of was, Please Mr. Policeman, go the other direction when you leave so you don't see my one headlight. Or, better yet, I will just sit here and if you act like you are waiting for me to leave, I will just start putting clothes and items in these donation boxes here. That way you can go ahead and do whatever you need and I wont get caught......hopefully.

But, he started up his Trooper Car and as he started to leave, I told him Thank you again, and he acknowledged me and said that maybe he saved my life when he stopped me. Maybe by me getting the ticket I will get the seat belt fixed and will be ok.  So with that, he started to dive off and I said aloud, yes, Mr. Webb, I will get it fixed, but maybe, just maybe, I saved your life today too.

See I think that God puts us where HE wants us at the time He wants us there. So yes, I got the ticket. Yes, I was at fault. But, in my long, drawn out story to the Policeman, then maybe, I saved his life by having him avoid something down the line.

Makes me think of the times when we say, "well if only I had left a few minutes earlier or later or taken another road, or

Yeah, Mr. Webb, thank you. Thank you for saving my life, and I hope sir, I returned the favor.

So what does SEC stand for if not football lingo?
by DebraThomas
Jan 18, 2012 | 3457 views |  0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
To those of you that know me, you know I am married to a wonderful man that puts up with all of my eccentric ways and lets me have all my pets. Or babies as I refer to them. He is a hard working man and has been my friend and soul mate for as long as I can remember. He even finds humor in living with me, which in itself is a miracle because, well, I have bad days too. I know that seems hard to fathom, but yes, I am kinda hairbrained at times. To put it nicely, he says it is like living with Lucille Ball. You just never know whats going to happen or what I am going to say. Example today......

We were driving down Quintard going to eat pizza at one of my favorite places, Mata's. I could just imagine the cheese and spices as they lingered in my mouth and on my toungue. Oh how this is so not on a heart healthy diet, (hopefully my Cardiologist doesn't read these blogs) but its such a welcome treat once in a while. So I wasn't really thinking about what I was saying as we passed the local Burger King. I have a habit of reading aloud the signs on the roads, highways and wherever, and of course I did this particular sign that announced they have SEC Biscuits.

Well, I was just so impressed. I must have shown some enthusiasm as I read the sign aloud, because without missing a beat, he said, thats not what you think, Deb.

He continued on to the traffic light and I asked "well then what does it mean?" They have SEC biscuits and I think that's great."

He so lovingly looks at me and tells me that doesn't mean that they have Alabama and Auburn biscuits, but it means SAUSAGE, EGG and CHEESE. 

All of this time my active imagination is going, and he continues to tell me as if he were explaining this to a 2 year old, that BEC means they carry BACON, EGG and CHEESE. And CB is not the radios but Chicken Biscuit, and so on.

But my thoughts were racing thinking that I have seen commercials that show this device that you can order and it will imprint your toast with the logo of the college of your choice. So why not? Why cant Burger King have SEC biscuits with logos of Alabama and Auburn? Make a contest to see which one sells the most. Use it as a fundraiser for the schools or to save the trees at Toomer's Corners or something. 

I don't know why I am not like normal folks and can pick up on things like Sausage Egg Cheese Biscuits for sale. I don't know why regular cucumbers don't have to be labeled "pickling cucumbers" or why      MING SOON is not some sort of new
martial arts.  I really thought that I was impressing him one time with the announcement that the new gym was going to have MING SOON and he should take lessons since he liked that sort of stuff.  No, I didnt see the C and O that had fallen off the sign and was announcing that new weight machines were COMING SOON. 

I am not a stupid person, I just have a different imagination than other folks. And I never grew out of it.

So its not so bad being married to Lucille Ball, I don't guess. Either that or he is just sticking around to see what happens tomorrow....who knows what may be MING SOON to this house.

Stay tuned.
Its That Time Again!
by DebraThomas
Jan 12, 2012 | 1975 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I'm not talking about Girl Scout Cookies, although its just about time for those delicious treats. I am talking about time to bring out the cookbooks and the gardening books.

Every day I get a new catalog full of beautiful bulbs and seeds and all sorts of gadgets I just cant live without. I line them up and take them with me from the recliner to the bed and have a trusty pen with me at all times to circle all of the lilies and shrubs and flowers I am going to plant. I just imagine how wonderful my yard will be in the Spring with all of the colors of the rainbow and every scent you can imagine just wafting through the windows and going into the neighbors yards. Oh how wonderful it will be.......

And when not carrying the loads of catalogs and flowering plants books, I have cookbooks with me. I have a cookbook for low cal foods and dinners, I have a cookbook for slow cookers and some from the telephone company that are worn and ragged but still usable.

Trusty pen in hand, I get the piece of paper that will be my closest friend for the next few days while I scout out the needed ingredients for the massive amounts of food I will prepare for my husband and family. Oh, I am so thrilled to think about the scents of herbs and spices boiling and filling the house with what I equate to the smell of love.

I have these books all over the bedroom, next to the chairs, in the kitchen and just everywhere. There may be one or two in the car, I dont know.

Then reality sets in.

The thought of having to go outside in the heat of summer and deadhead those plants, water them, replant what has died from neglect, clear out the weeds, cut the grass, cuss at the lawnmower that quits and wont start back, well, the dream of that beautiful yard just goes away.

So I go back to the recipe books. Oh how wonderful those glossy photos look. So tempting.

Ok, get the list made. Get the sales paper showing who has the best price on hamburger or chicken.

Get depressed at the price of hamburger or chicken.

Look at the kitchen, and think of what pots and pans will have to be used to cook such delicious meals.  Who is going to clean them up? What will we do with the leftovers after we are tired of them? Do dogs eat beans with their cornbread?

Now I have all of these cookbooks and gardening catalogs to do something with, and thats another chore, cleaning the rooms that I have neglected because I have been too busy cooking and landscaping in my mind.

Then the thought hits me that everyone must have a dream. Most folks dream of being rich or traveling, or doing some great thing with their life.

My dream is a clean house, beautiful yard, clean car, and well cooked meals 3 times a day.

So to be able to dream, I must go back to sleep, and these days with the weather so bleak and dreary, I am finding that sleeping is a new hobby and one that I am becoming quite fond of.

In reality the yard wont be beautiful, the house wont be clean and the meals will be take out more than likely, but in my dreams, its a wonderful place.   

Hopefully I will see you in my dreams, cause they are quite wonderful. Now if I can just get the smells to incorporate with the colors, I will really have it made.

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