Musings by DebraThomas
Debra Parker Thomas
Apr 30, 2013 | 7954 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Baby Books and Obits
by DebraThomas
Apr 30, 2013 | 21686 views |  0 comments | 70 70 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Moma kept a baby book on me for a while. Its wasnt as elaborate as my brother, Brocks 2 volumes, but I have it now. I look at it from time to time and trace my fat finger over the notes she wrote about what I did on those first few months of life and my reactions to things. Now the silky pink threadbear book with the cartoon baby woven into the fabric is more precious than ever. See, I have been thinking about the times between Baby Book notations and Obituary write ups. What happens to folks in between times should be notes somewhere too. I just dont know where.

I dont know if my sister Ann has a Baby Book or not. Moma was living in the house where the Wright Dairy Farm is now, with my grandparents when Ann was born.  Daddy was in the Air Force and stationed overseas so Moma had Ann there on the farm.  I have been told that the same Doctor that delivered Moma delivered Ann.  Stands to reason. Moma was just a teenager when she had Ann, so its possible he delivered both. Neat I think. How many folks can say that the same doctor delivered them and their moma?

I have been telling Moma for years that I am her favorite. She has not YET told me that I am but I think so.  Being the ever diplomatic Moma, she says, Ann is the oldest, so she got to spend more time with the family, and with Daddy and she got to travel all those places.

Brockie is the only boy and the middle child. He is the spitting image of Daddy so he has a special place too in this family.

I am the baby. Thats it. No mention from her of any of the notable things I have done or who I resemble, no facts about who delivered me is memorable, nothing. I am just the baby.  

So what happens between the notes made when you are born and the notes written by someone else when you die? Who makes notations of the things you did or memories you have? Thats what bothers me.

I dont have children, so I dont have the need for Baby Books. And we have enough photos of the 4 legged babies to plaster a wall. But other than, eats, sleeps, played a little, got out of yard, slept, ate, died, well thats about all I can write about them. I can tell you and everyone else that knows me how much I love them, how they make my world turn, but they dont have books.

I have a wedding album. I can show you my photos of my husband of almost 30 years and his head full of dark curly hair, and mine too at that time.  Now both of us are overweight and white haired, but thats about all thats changed. 

In the between years of Baby Books and Obits, there are so many things that have happened.

I have worked all sorts of jobs. I started out cleaning toilets and working at City Hall and wound up being a long distance operator. I sold cars, made loans, collected on said loans, worked for attorneys, did legal work in a Trust Department in Two banks, survived an FDIC audit at one of the banks, loved, lost, married and stayed married. I have had surgeries, lost my sight and got it back again. I have been a volunteer on several local Boards and am back to being a volunteer with groups in Weaver, Alabama.  I have traveled, been richer, been broker, and now I stay broke.   I have a lot to tell, and my ambition is to one day have a book in libraries and book stores with my name on it. I want a real book, one with pages that make a sound when you turn the page and have a real spine and a real cover with a Forward in the front and Acknowledgements in the back.

So what happens to the stories in between birth and death?  How do you compact all those years and memories into just a few matter of fact paragraphs that inform of the date of birth and the date of death, survivors and funeral arrangements?  There ought to be something to show the time in between.

See I am a packrat of sorts. Guess you could call it a hoarder of memories.

I have kept the times I have been in the paper, articles I have written, photos of me in the paper or other periodicals. I have been the person that was featured in a State of Alabama Instructional Video on Selecting A Jury.  It was made during the time I was serving on a Civil Jury and the photographer approached me after 2 days and asked if he could come to my house and take a photo of me getting the summons out of the mail. I told him yes, and that was the beginning of the film.  It was shown to prospective jurors and I dont know if there is a copy of it anywhere but if you know of one or have seen it please let me know.  It was made in the 80s so I had dark hair and was about 45 pounds lighter.

What has brought all of this about today was the fact that a man by name of Mark died. He was a very nice man, and a friend of mine. He was an avid hunter and spent lots of time in the woods not only hunting but just enjoying the out of doors. That much you can read in his obit today.

But there was so much more.  What it didnt say was that he was the Dog Catcher for the City of Oxford for several years. Not a job he loved but one he had and he did with the best of his abilities. He loved dogs. He gave me a dog one time, a daschund by the name of Gretal. She was on her way to the pound and I had mentioned to him a year or so before that if he ever got one of those dogs I wanted it. She was a mini dach and I loved her. For years I loved her. 

It didnt tell about how he would play Scrabble or Dominoes on Sunday nights with my mother, aunt Gladys and aunt Myrtle. For hours. I dont know how to play Dominoes.

It didnt talk about how he would take my Mother and aunt Gladys looking for arrowheads in creek beds and wood trails.  I just sat in the truck and waited. I am not an outdoors type of person.  

It didnt talk about how Mark would take the dogs into a field in Oxford and let them run and bark. He had one named Pete and one named RePete. He had a female dog named Queenie. And he loved them.  Pete was old and grey but he would run and Mark would encourage him to bark and "bay" by saying "Talk to me, talk to me old man" and the dog would howl and carry on.  Pete died.  Queenie was stolen and I have no idea what happened to RePete.

As you can tell, I knew Mark before I did my husband. My husband knew about Mark and how he was a friend of the family as well as my relationship with him.

Its not something we talk about, but he was saddened today when I told him of Marks death.

So, in between the Baby Books and the obits, I think there should be something else. There should be a diary of each day. If you have children, make it a point to note something that happens every day. And if there is no big momentus occasion that happens that day, make a note of that too and reflect on it as a restful day.

I may be a packrat but hopefully in years to come, I will have more to pack away with memories of things I have experienced in my life. Good thoughts and feelings I have had and friends I have made.

So start that diary, and if you dont have children, make one for yourself. Start a journal, dont wait. Dont put it off, start filling in the pages with things from your past or your mates history.

Who knows when you might want to reflect on these memories or share them and let someone else fill in the blanks between Baby Book years and Obit.

I hope someone will do that for me.

Peace be with you Mark, you were a good man and a great friend. Tell the dogs hello for me.

While You Were Out.......
by DebraThomas
Mar 12, 2013 | 4802 views |  0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
It has been a while since I got to blog. Thank you for the few of you that have asked when I would write again.  That makes me smile from ear to ear and on the inside too!! If thats possible.

Been a lot of changes in my life since I was here last and some I am sorry to say not for the best. My father in law was diagnosed with a rare form of fast growing cancer and within 2 months of his diagnosis, he died.  It was a very sad, hard, horrible experience and one I wont go into detail about here, but if you have lost one to cancer you know what I mean. Within a week of losing my second father, (he was so much more than an inlaw) my beloved husband became sick. Very sick. I took him to the doctors and they took a gallon of blood and did all sorts of testing on him but he finally had to go to the ER and be admitted on a rainy, cold Friday night.

The hospital staff was wonderful to us; and we were so fortunate to get to leave the place within 4 days. But he is still ailing, I am sorry to say, and with that, we continue to search for doctors or medicines or therapies that will heal him.  He is my soul mate, my best friend and I dont want to imagine what life without him would be like. I want to go first.  I kid him that I want to go first so that someone will be there to mourn me. If not, then I am going to have to hire mourners for my funeral, and the bank account is looking mighty slim right now. So we both better get to feeling the best in years and not even consider the alternative.

There is a very nice lady that published my article in the local free newspaper and it was a tribute to my father in law.  Since my own father died when I was 15, I missed a lot of things a daddy should teach a young girl. Thankfully I have an older brother and sister and they along with my beautiful and hard working Mother filled in the pieces and I became the person I am today.  Even though, Mother with her 85 years of wisdom tells folks with a glint in her eye that she is not responsible for anything I do or say, and that she has always been thankful I wasnt twins.

Hmm......let me think on that a minute.

For those of you who know me, you know I love life.  Not to the extent that I want to jump off of cliffs or hanglide or anything like that but I love the idea that there is a flower in a field that was put there not by man but by God.

I love to look deep into the eyes of a dog or cat and see the beauty therein. There is no woman that can put on makeup and be as beautiful as a flower nor an animal. Nature is just perfect. We on the other hand are not, but there are a lot of good, really good, caring and loving folks in this world.

Which brings me to this blog. I have had this on my mind since before the man I called Snooks died. It was just some of the things that people did while we were in this state of uncertainty and finding our way through the terrible dark days ahead.

My husband, mother in law and myself had been in the area doing some shopping for her a suit/dress/etc and things that were going to be needed for the inevitable future. You are never really prepared for a death, and especially what will I wear to a spouse's funeral. Anyway, we stopped for a bite to eat. The place was crowded and again, it was cold and blustery outside. We sat near the fireplace and we ordered our food. Not much of an appetite but we knew we had to go on and nourish our bodies to try to prepare the soul and heart for what was about to come to us. Well, I was exceptionally hungry or eating out of stress, whichever, and I ordred an extra side helping of a vegetable. My husband ordred a coffee along with his tea and so on. Not our regular actions but we just felt we needed to console ourselves in a way only food and drink would do. Then my mother in law ordered her pancakes. She didnt usually order such a large meal, but it was just the thing to do on that particular day.

Our waitress overheard us talking about having to go back to the hospital, and she asked if we needed some to go boxes. It seems the phone rang while we were trying to eat and we were advised to rush back to the hospital. All three of us took an extra gulp and then said yes, we need the boxes and please to go cups too.  The waitress came back and advised us that the bill was paid for.

WHAT?  WHY?  BY WHOM??

It seems that she couldnt tell us, and with wonderment and excitement and a little (ok a lot of stress) on us and in us, we hurried out the door all the while wondering if it was management, or was it the waitress that paid for our meal.

It has been several weeks since that event. My husband and I have been back to the establishment several times to try and get the same waitress to see if she could tell us if indeed she had paid our expenses that day. She had told us over and over that day it was not her and she had been asked not to say whom the payor was, but to just accept it as a gift and someday pay it forward.

So finally we got to meet with the waitress face to face. After we had placed our order, she said, I remember you folks, you were the ones that had to leave. I do hope all worked out and your loved one is better.  My husband hung his head and sighed. I broke the news to the lady that my father in law had indeed passed, and she all but cried there on the spot.

Such a sweet lady. So finally I had to broach the subject, WHO PAID FOR OUR DINNER?  She said, I wasnt supposed to say, but it was the older couple that was sitting across from you that day.

My husband lifted his head and he and I looked at each other with a questionable look on our faces. We had no idea there was anyone even listening to us, much less that there was a couple next to us, and certainly not that they would have paid for the three of us to eat.

I was astonished. I was embarrassed. I was so ashamed I had ordered the extra vegetable. Then the lady said something to me, they just asked that you pay it forward when you can.

What? Pay it forward as in the amount, we have no idea how much it was.

No, just pay the deed forward. Do something for someone sometime when it is least expected.

I tried to think of something extraordinary I could do to really show my appreciation to someone. Buying a dinner or a lunch seemed so small to what I was feeling inside. So I thought about it and said, ok, when the time is right, I will know it.

The time my husband spent in the hospital was an eye opening experience to say the least. I saw the best and the worst in people. Some were so downtrodden and humble while others were haughty and had no real reason to be.

But one gentleman in particular was special to me. He was across the hall from my husband. I had worked for him several years before, and we were friends in a way, but not close because he had hundreds of employees under his command.

He was nice and we got along well. No hard feelings when I had to leave due to health reasons. Every once in a while I would see him in the stores but not often. We would do the usual catching up on family and work and so on and then, ok, well, see you later.

I was discussing with the doctor the news about my husbands condition and out of the corner of my eye I see someone in a hospital gown, making faces over the docs shoulder. This man is either nuts or someone I know. Well I was trying to keep a strait face while conversing with the doctor but when you see a clown acting up in the hallway and he has on a hospital gown, you kinda lose concentration FAST.  

The doctor left and this man sped into my husbands room. Without using his indoor voice, he exclaimed, I KNEW THAT WAS YOU!!  I SAID TO MYSELF THAT HAS TO BE DEB PARKER THOMAS!! I WOULD KNOW THAT VOICE ANYWHWERE!!!

and so on.   My husband didnt see the glee this man was obviously having and had no idea who he was nor why he barged into his hospital room.

The days went by faster after we all got to know each other and I am sorry to say I dont know what happened to the man. If he is out of the hospital or not, and what his condition is now. BUT with that said, we all had a very nice visit, and he made the hospital a more inviting place to be during the situation we were in was well, strange to say the least.

When we were discharged (I say we because I stayed with my husband 24 hours a day for 4 days except to come home, get a change of clothes and feed the animals and go back to the hospital, all of an hour a day for 4 days) so I felt as if I too had been a patient.  We all promised to keep in touch and lets get together and all the standards......but we havent.

I went back to get some paperwork after discharge and I checked on my friend. He was telling me that he would be having surgery later that day, and that he would like to have some clean sheets.  Without hesitation, I went to the nurses station, got the clean bed linens and started to change his sheets.  He stopped me because there was a nurse coming in to do that for him, but he was touched that someone would care enough to handle sheets for a person in the hospital when they didnt even work there.   Well, thats what you do when you see someone in need.

Or at least I did.  The nurse did come in and tell me that she was going to change the bed and so on, and apologized for the delay, but I told her it wasnt going to be a problem. I left though and have thought about that situation.

Since the days we were in the hospital, I have joined a local civic organization. It is just one of the few I am involved in, and tonight I got just a sneak peek at some of the many things they do for the community.

Maybe this is my paying it forward. The sheet thing didnt work out, so I didnt get to pay that one forward but maybe in a way I can help someone with their sight; or plant some flowers for a Senior Citizen to enjoy or host an Easter Egg Hunt for children to come and gather eggs and try to find the prized egg, or, if nothing else, maybe sometime I can pay for someones dinner......or better yet, invite them to eat with us.

There is always something that can be done and something positive can come out of something so negative.

My appreciation to all that have been there for us in word and deed during this my husbands hardest hours.   May you all be blessed in all you do, and just know, I will always be thinking of a way to pay it forward. Hope you will too.

Thanks and I will be back sooner with Musings.

Drivers License Renewel 101
by DebraThomas
Oct 16, 2012 | 10163 views |  0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I am the one person in the family that reminds everyone else to check your license on your birthday so you wont forget to renew them. Well, as luck would have it, I did check mine and I had another year. So I didnt really worry about it. But man how a year does fly!! I forgot to get them renewed THIS YEAR until of course they had expired. Now, thats bad enough, but I had to be reminded of this as I went to Walmart to get a check cashed so that I could have some cash to pay for the renewal, and thats when I was told, we cant use the license because they have expired. So I went into the explanation of yes, thats why I am here, to get the $$$ to go, oh never mind. OK. So I left.

Went to get cash at the local bank, and all was fine. Was going out on errands anyway so getting the license renewed was on the list of to do things. Grocery Store, Gas Station, you know the routine.

Got to the office and went in and waited for the Gentleman to tell me that the place to enter  for the license was back where I parked and the door that I passed which was marked DRIVERS LICENSE HERE.  Gee, I am off to a great start.  So I go back to where I am supposed to be, and stand in line. Finally the nice lady told me to go to #5 or whatever and I did. I explained that I was there to get my license renewed. Ok, she takes the old license and asks if anything had changed. I told her no, I still live at the same address and still have the same name. I kinda smiled, but no response. So I sat and waited. And waited while she put all sorts of information in the computer in front of her. Then she asks me if the weight is the same. I said yes, why do I look like its different? Again, thinking it was kind of funny, but still no response. So, she looks at me and with no expression, said, well it states here that the weight is 136.  My reaction must have caught the man in the booth next to her by surprise because I said, well that was correct when I was 15, oh, do you mean I am supposed to change it every time I get new license? What, do I not look like I weigh 136?  Still, no reposne from the lady, just what do you want me to put in here for weight?  So I gave her a number between 136 and 236 and told her to pick one. Then it came time for the color of hair. I was asked what color of hair I have, that the last time it said blonde. Again, I said, well, that was Ms Clairol 189 so that day it was blonde, but then it went to black and red and then one time I looked like an Irish Setter, and......she stopped me. So its grey. Well, no, I dont think its grey, I believe it is white. We had a discussion about that too. Evidentally my hair is grey to the person typing information about me, but in photos I see of myself and in the mirror, to me it is white. Not blonde, not platinum, just white. And it is natural too. No dyes or perfumes here.....oh wait thats a commercial for laundry detergent isnt it?  Seriously, it is my natural color. Or lack thereof. White. Weird I know.  Ok, next question, same address, same info.  Yep, check, check, check.  Then the fun begins.

She tells me to look into the eye machine and tell her what line # 3 says. So I locate #3 and I read what I see. Then she asked me if I wear glasses, (I had taken a pair in with me, so yeah, sometimes I wear glasses) but onto the reading of the line. I told her that I wear them when I read. She said, well, you are reading now. But I didnt think to put the darn glasses on, because I dont usually look at small numbers on the side of the road, so no glasses were on at the time. And they didnt go on, but now I am thinking they should have. I gave her the first two parts of the line, all the numbers. I spoke clearly and loud. Very positive. Leaned away from the screen and thats when she told me that I needed to tell her the rest of the line.

Well, for those who know me, I had lost my vision, completely, and through a miracle, my sight has been restored through shots, administered to the eye. I have been going to a doctor in Birmingham for over a year and we have shots put in every few weeks, and because they have sutured and done all sorts of other work to my eye, the vision has been restored, kinda.

I can see. Maybe not as well as I should, but I can see. I just didnt see the other part of the line. So I put the "good eye" as close to the opening where the "bad" eye had been so I could at least see the rest of the line. Ok, back on track now.

Well I recited the end of the line and was quite proud of myself for doing so.

Then the next fun part began.

She asked me to stand in front of the blue screen. No problem. I did. She told me to stare at the drawing on the end of the counter, which was a horse or cow or some farm animal. She told me to look at the drawing and there would be a flash, and after the flash I could return to my seat. Well, the light went off, and I returned to my seat.

She told me that I had to do it over again, my eyes were too big for the license. WHAT?

Yes, you need to stand up there again and dont make your eyes so big. It looks like you are scared or something.  Are you kidding me??? So like an obidient citizen, I went back to the screen and listend while she told me that I needed to make my eyes not so big.

I stood there for a few seconds and without missing a beat, I said, well, lady, I was born with them this way, and if you look at every photo ever made of me, you will see, EYES, NOSE and HAIR. Thats the things that stand out on me, so I dont know how to make them smaller.

So she advised me to squint. Or do something that would make them smaller looking beause they were too big for the photo.

Now, this wouldnt happen to anybody but me, so in the photo, (we had to take 3) I am squinting.

I guess.

I havent looked at them yet. Dont know if I want to.

I want my old license back. She punched a bunch of holes in them, and was putting so many I didnt think there was going to be anything left.

Well, I took the paper license she gave me, (WHAT NO PLASTIC COVERING??) and I gave her the cash I had prepared to pay with. 

The lady looked at the money, looked at me and said we have a problem.  I said well you told me $23.50 right?  I gave you $25 right?  I promise you the cash is good, I just went to the bank and got it.

This was the response I got. Well, yes, the money is alright, but we have no change.

What?

We have no change to give you back. Do you have $.50?

No.

Can you go get it?

Are you kidding me?

No.   We have no change in the building.

Ok, so I will be back in a minute, but I need some license, and you have made mine look like Swiss Cheese, so can I have the new ones?

No, not until you pay for them.

But I did, you have the money.

Yes but we need change.

OK, so if I leave here and IF by some chance I get stopped going to get change,

what do I tell the policeman? I have no license with me, and I dont need to get a ticket for driving with no license because, well you see, I have some, they are just at the License place because I am having to get change.

No response.

So I left. Went to get the bananas and milk, etc and got the change.

Came back and left with the license.

Is it me or what? I have big eyes. I have always had big eyes. Moma used to tell me all the time she could tell when I was sick by the look in my eyes. She said I could make anybody cry when they saw me cry, because my eyes look like dying calf eyes.......(I have no idea what a dying calf looks like and I dont want to....but still, Moma.....)

So again, if you see me, I will be a little different from what I describe myself to others as.

See for years, I have been thinking I had blue eyes, red/blonde/grey/black hair and weighed 136 pounds.

Guess when I go back to the eye doc I will tell him to check my eyes again, because from the description I have been giving of myself and what others see are two different things.

I just figured out, I must be describing someone else, or maybe one of my dogs.

Who knows? 

But I do think I have solved the age old mystery............

Mona Lisa was smiling because........

someone in the line next to her was getting their drivers license renewed.

The Honeymooners
by DebraThomas
Sep 23, 2012 | 5910 views |  0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Tongiht was a fundraiser at our local Berman Museum. It is a one time a year fundraiser that has a lot of food vendors and spirits distributors that come and share their wares with us all, and in turn we pay a fee to get in and have a go at it all. So its been a date my husband and I have kept for years. We try to go every year and reconnect with old friends we dont see except at this place and time, but its always so special.   We like to go and eat from the various restaurants and sample the goodies they bring. Sometimes there is a new ale that hasnt been in the stores yet and we might have a sample to see if we think it might be a big seller. But most of all, its a great time with friends and music and food. And lots to look at and discuss.

This year, the fundraiser added a new item. You could purchase a half price ticket if you agreed to decorate a piece of wood they had cut out in the shape of the SOLO Cup or in the shape of a beverage bottle. So I purchased two (one of each shape) and asked my brother for help. He is an artist and lives about 100 miles from me, but I asked him to help me do one of the shapes and I would do the other, but it would be great advertising for him. He is in several galleries in the Montgomery County, Alabama area and his art is fabulous, if I do say so myself.   He has sold I have no idea how many, so to have one of his original works of art here in our fundraiser area I was thrilled. So he got the piece shaped like a Solo Cup and we made arrangements to meet again in a few days for me to pick it up.

I was amazed. He had taken a photograph from one of the area magazines showing a mountain range and these huge boulders that have been flattened by nature. The place is Cheaha Park and the huge rocks that folks walk out on is called BALD ROCK.  He painted the cup shape blue to capture the azure sky and the white clouds and then painted the rocks. There were leaves and trees in the background but you could just see the view below and almost picture yourself there on those rocks. Feel the air sweeping around you. Oh, it was beautiful. On the other side of the SOLO cup shape, he painted it red with a white part showing at the top, just like you are looking at a Solo Cup. On the red side, he painted a scene from a photo that was taken years ago by him while he, myself, and my husband were on a fall ride to Cheaha and we happened upon a lake. The reflection in the lake was of the colored changing leaves and he made every stroke of the brush almost to the point where you could smell the Fall air. You could hear the whistling of the trees and the leaves. It was so real looking. I was just speechless.

My work of art on the other hand was more of the area around our city of Anniston, and Calhoun County was depicted on the other side of my bottle shape.  I had everything from Samuel Noble Statue on it to the museum logo and all sorts of trees on the main artery Quintard Avenue that goes through our town. I cut out and ModgePodged those intricate pieces of paper on that bottle shape so carefully and covered every spot. I was proud of my work, but next to my brothers I felt a little ashamed. He painted, I just glued.

So when the evening was drawing to a close, I looked and his held a large yellow SOLD sign on it. Someone had purchased his work of art. Works of art since there is two sides and each was a special scene.  My glued photos and arranged pieces of paper were still in their same position, not moved and no SOLD sign on it. I sighed and resigned myself to the fact that it just wasnt in the cards for me to have sold mine.

My husband was sitting at the table and listened as I told him how very proud I am of my brothers work and that maybe I will sell my piece next year or at least they can use it as a door stop or something, but I was ok with it. I knew it wouldnt sell. But thats ok. Everybodys cant sell.  It was much like feeling like being a beauty pagent and being number 51 in winners when there was only 50 girls entered.

I began to take the plates and bottles and cups off of our table and wound up talking to several folks around the area. I wanted to at least help the museum workers that had put on such a wonderful event and I knew they were tired so the least I could do was clean off our spaces.

When I came back to the table, my husband was sitting there finishing up a beverage and he said to me the most beautiful words I have ever heard. 

"Your piece sold."   I lept to my feet and looked all around the area for the bottle shape and I didnt see it. As I sat down, I said well, they must have already taken it away. But inside I was so happy, you just cant imagine.

Then he said, here it is.  I looked and looked all around the place and he pointed to it and said, here, on our table. So I read the card and it said:

SOLD

Buyer:  

Tracy Thomas

My husband bought the piece of artwork I had done. He purchased my bottle shape. 

I couldnt believe it. I still cant believe it.

I have never been so honored and shocked and emotional all at one time in my life. To say I was speechless is a really big deal because I am never at a loss for words. But I was then. I cry when I think how he went to whomever he had to and told them to let him purchase that piece of wood I worked on. He brought it to the table we were at and he surprised me with it.

I am not a woman that has a lot of diamonds or a new car. I wear clothes that come from Walmart or Kmart or wherever there is a sale. We are not proud people and so therefore we are comfortable with what we have and are not envious of others.

But let me tell you, when he bought that piece of work I had done, and he had watched me do in the middle of the nights, I can tell you, there is nothing in this world that can make me ever forget the way I felt then. And do now. And will every time I see that thing.

When I asked him why in the world he bought it, he said, "because I wanted a piece of your work in my room where I can see it anytime I want to."

Before the event, I asked a lady to take our photo. She did and right before she snapped the picture, I reached over for his hand and held it.  I jokingly told him, I think we have been married long enough we can hold hands.  The lady asked how long and I said almost 30 years.

She smiled and said and youre still happy........

Oh yes, lady.  I am still happy. 

After 30 years, I am still as happy with that man that bought my artwork, as I was the day we married.

I am one blessed woman. A mere honeymooner after 30 years.

No riches can replace that.  Nor can they replace this work of art comprised of cut out pictures and ModgePodge. But to him its a treasure, and to me, he is a treasure. So sometimes riches come in the strangest places and ways. 

Finally I am in a Clique
by DebraThomas
Sep 23, 2012 | 4935 views |  0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I am so happy with my life right now. Of course that can change at any minute when I start to sweat or cant sleep or finally get to sleep and thats the moment that the dog just HAS to go out. Cant wait until a better time, so nooo lets go NOW!! But with all that said, at this particular time and at these few minutes, I am happy.  See, I have finally fit in somewhere. I am in a clique!!

I am middle aged (if I live to be over 100) and it has taken me this long to figure out where I fit in here on earth. When I was in school, I wasnt in the band; didnt do the Scout thing; wasnt in any of the sports; so if you werent an athlete or a band person or cheerleader or whatever else there was at that time, then you really didnt have a claim to fame, or so I thought.  So I started looking for my "talent" and it has taken me this long to find it. See, I did fit in. I just didnt know it at the time. But I fit in as a listener, a friend, a helper of folks that needed it and things like that. I was a pretty good kid if I do say so myself. My father died when I had just turned 15 years old, and I had just had my braces off a few weeks. I was in 10th grade and I am the youngest of three children, so I didnt have a lot in common with folks my age. But I did have one thing that I liked and that was older folks. I could listen to them talk about old times and the joys they had at the most simple of things, like fresh watermellons on a hot summer day; or playing in the cold stream that ran by their house; or my grandmothers story of picking the watercress out of the stream and selling it at the CURB MARKET in Anniston to the "rich ladies" that ate it on their sandwiches. Or her selling her fertile soil to the East Side women that swore she had the prettiest bulbs and plants they had ever seen and wanted to know what her secret was so she sold them dirt.  Nowadays it would be called Potting Soil with enrichments but at that time it was just dirt.  

So this is where my love for the elderly comes in. They are filled with wisdom and history and humor and common sense. A lot of the things we as a nation need to Relearn today.  And it wasnt until my mother and I started going to visit her sister in the nursing home or Rehab Home as it is also called, that I began to realize just what a thrill it is to go and visit these folks.

At first they didnt know me and didnt know what to make of me. I am overweight, loud and have white hair. You pretty much hear me before you see me but when you do, well you probably wont forget me. For one reason or another. Hopefully good reasons.

So I go to visit my aunt and then its the lady in the room with her that I strike up a conversation with and so on.  Then the folks in the hallway, then down the hall, then on the next unit and finally I have spoken to just about everyone that is a resident there or works there. And they seem to appreciate a smile or a warm pat on the back, or a word of acknowledgement.

So lately, I have been going to visit a lot more. I have been taking books and magazines there so that the residents might have a "library" so to speak. Just because they are a resident in a group home like that doesnt mean that they dont want to read or see something that has been on television or in the papers. Even if they dont care to read the books, a lot of the ones I take them have colored photographs or are "How To" books and the men especially like to look at those.

Then there are the women that like the cookbooks. They of course dont cook but most women like to read recipes, even if they dont cook them. I do.

So I have been telling my brother, who is an artist, about my new found hobby. My new found CLIQUE so to speak. 

Well, my brother gathered up his brushes and paints, got some canvas and frames and he came to the Rehab Center yesterday and he held an Art Class. We (I helped) had about 20 or so folks in the room with us and about half of them painted while the others just looked on.

They were so happy. They each had a canvas and a plate of paints before them. They were told they could paint anything, and he had several of his own paintings of all shapes and sizes and techniques and subjects there, but the one they were working on was a fall painting. It was a pumpkin and had fall leaves along the top and sides. If you wanted them at all, and each person did. He told them they could make a Jack O Lantern out of it if they wanted, but each student tried to make theirs like his. Except for one lady and she had a vision of her own. She wanted a pumpkin under a waterfall.  So she took her palate and she made hers look like it was under a waterfall.  So many smiling faces and so much confidence was in that room. People that didnt think they could did, and the ones that didnt wanted to be in on the next one, and they will then.

So at the end of the art session, they went out with their newest creations and each was different and each was their own. There was a lady there visiting with her mother and she and her mother painted side by side. They each had a painting of their own to take with them. When the daughter started to leave, she thanked me and my brother both. And as she started to walk out, I told her that this was a memory that would last a lifetime and the painting she and her mother did would be worth more than any Rembrandt to her in later years. She tearfully agreed. Those lessons he gave them yesterday made them feel so much better about themselves and gave them an air of confidence they needed. We (he and I) were so blessed being in the same area of these folks and seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter and watching them listen to him with such interest.

So I have finally found a group I fit in with. They are the ones that are sometimes not visited a lot or not thought of everyday, but to me, they are my friends. They are my clique. I am looking forward to the next art lesson. He is an artist, he is my brother, but he is their new friend.  And I am proud to be their friend too.  We received the blessing.  They gave it to us, and that is what friendship is all about.

So if you feel like you just dont fit in, keep looking.  Its never too late.  And when you do find your fitting in place, you will know it.   We did.

SummerTime and the Living WAS Easy
by DebraThomas
Jun 12, 2012 | 6260 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
When I was much younger, Summer was a rite of passage and a season filled with memories. There was the annual trip to Six Flags, with all of the cousins piled in the backseat of the Buick, and of course no air conditioning, so the windows were down the whole way. We were stuck to each other with sweat along with sticking to the seat, but who cared, we were going to Six Flags. The sights we would see and the rides we would ride were all that could be discussed for the almost 3 hour tour to get there. Of course it is not supposed to take that long, but when you have to stop and pick up additional aunts and cousins; get the discount tickets the day of the trip and of course stop for gasoline, well that adds to the time in the car. Of course the ride back was always a lot quieter, because of the tired kids in the backseat, some asleep and others looking out of the window as cars and time flew by. Oh if we had only known then what we know today.

There are other things that are Summer to me. Getting out of 6th grade back in the early 70's and from a small school we didnt have 6th grade Graduation like they have now. We were just let out of school, and the amount of excitement was equal between the anticipation of the last bell ringing for the season as much for us as the teachers.

We had a really neat teacher one year that gave us our folders that she had for everyone in her class, and at the end of the year, we got to have our friends sign our folder. We felt just like the Seniors getting their Yearbooks signed. Of course there was the standard, stay sweet, and stay just as nice as you are, and such, but my favorites were the more creative ones. Like U Me = Friends 4 Ever.

 I dont remember who wrote that, so much for being friends forever. But I wish I had my folder so I could go back to that day and feel the excitement I felt of being outside and asking for people to sign it, just as if I were seeking autographs from celebs. Seems funny now but it was serious business then. 

Catching lightning bugs in a glass jar and poking holes in the top and then putting pieces of grass inside so they wouldnt get hungry was always a Summer thing.

Making Homemade Ice Cream in a freezer that had to be turned. Having to have someone sit on the top of the freezer and always making sure there was enough rock salt around. Of course there was always the discussion of what to put on top of it, Hershey Syrup or fresh peaches or strawberries. I still love mine just plain Vanilla with lots of the Vanilla flavoring in it, and ice cold. I havent bought any Hershey Syrup in many years, but the smell comes rushing back to memory just as if it were yesterday. It was an elixer that was as decadent as it could be. Man, I loved that stuff. And there was BOSCO too.  Bosco was usually reserved for Chocolate Milk.  Again, it had to be ICE cold and whole milk in a large glass. 

My dad was in the military, and I have a brother and a sister, both older than I. So when they were younger, Daddy was in the service and they got to travel through Europe. Well, when I came along, we were here, so I was taken on vacation State side. It was a big deal to get to go on vacation. He took Mother and I to Washington DC and all up the Eastern Seaboard. We went to Canada. We went to every state between here and Canada. We visited a lot of Historical places and I got to take the White House tour. This was when President Nixon was in office. At that time you didnt have all of the security measures that are in place now, and I got to see President Nixon in a window putting on his cufflinks.  We were on Penn Avenue, actually outside the gate, but there was just a little bit of movement in the window in the East Wing, and sure enough, through the lens of Daddys binocculars, I saw the President. What a thrill. I was 12.

Of course also during the Summer season another year was the Watergate Trial, so the rest is history so to speak.

That was the year that nothing seemed to be on television except that. No I Love Lucy or anything good like that. Makes for a long summer when there is not much on tv.

Or the Summer Olympics was always on.  Again, not much for a kid to watch, but thats what the bicycle and the dog and the hula hoop were for. Or roller skates. Or springy shoes. I dont know if it was just something "homemade" or it they were sold in stores, but we had a pair of "springy shoes" that were just what they said. You could spring on them and it made walking difficult, but once you got past the scraped knees and skinned hands it was fun. 

There is no commercial Lemonade that tastes like Aunt Myrtles. She made it with the right amount of lemons and sugar and some how got it so cold that the glass would sweat in envy of what it was holding.  Man, what I would give for some of her Lemonade.

Barbers Milk had a milkman that would make deliveries to her house when I was a kid. So as a special treat when I was spending the night with her and her daughter Cindy, she would leave a note out for the Milkman to leave us some ORANGE ADE drink.  I dont know if they have it in all states, but if not, you should request it.  I have seen it in the stores recently, but I dont think it tastes as strong as it did when I was a kid. May be that my tastebuds are not as sensitive as they used to be, or maybe because we were not exposed to a lot of drinks like we are now. But it was some good stuff.

Also Summer meant going to Gadsden to Noccalooa Falls.

It was a shorter drive and they had picnic areas and cold spray would come off of the falls if you stood close enough. You didnt have to pay to go to the park, nor to play amongst the spring loaded childrens rides that were there. You could ride a rocking horse or a pig or a spotted mouse. It was wonderful.

There was always an ice cream truck around. The sound of the bells and the same song going on and on over and over again, but it was worth whatever change I could gather to get a FudgeCicle.  Frozen solid. Hard to bite. But so good.

When I went to my grandmothers house, she would be outside usually in her garden. They raised a lot of vegetable and of course she had her flowers. I didnt take a lot of time to appreciate the hard work that she put into raising the crops that we all shared in, but what I would give now to tell her thank you. Thank you for raising corn and beans and tomatoes and all of the things that were mixed and mashed together to make soup mix by the gallons and then put in freezer bags and boxes.  Soup mix. The staple of the winter months. That and hot cornbread with a glass of milk. Food of the best type and raised right there in Alexandria.

My Aunt Gladys would make me a shorts outfit every summer too. I can still hear the sound of her sewing scissors cutting cloth on a wooden table. The very thought of that sound echoes in my ear and I can almost go back to a very distinct time and place in my head. She smoked Salems, and sometimes I think I smell cigarette smoke and feel like a kid again.

There was always seed catalogs at the relatives houses. No matter where in the county you went, to either side of the family, someone had a Burpee catalog. Or a Moorse-Ferry seed catalog. I would look at those pages and stare at the colors of the peppers and tomatoes and dream of one day having a space of my own to grow every color of the rainbow.

Its summertime again here in Alabama. Not as much red dirt and chirt roads as there used to be. Not as much space for toad frogs and bull frogs and lightning bugs to roam but its still Summer in the South. And even though I am older, and wish I could say wiser, its still the most wonderful place to be, to me, because its home and its my roots.

Its where my Mother and Father were raised and where they spent their youth and their parents before them. So when you go outside and sit on your porch or in your swing this summer, take time to think about how you got to where you are in this world.

I do and I am so thankful for the life I have been granted, hot summer weather and all.


Arent People A Hoot?!!!
by DebraThomas
Apr 20, 2012 | 4368 views |  0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I guess maybe its just me.  I wonder sometimes about the people that I seem to "attract." Out of nowhere people feel free to give me their opinion about things that I really have no control over, nor interest in, but yet they share their feelings. And not always are they the nicest feelings either. But I stand or sit there and listen. Here are two examples that come to mind. Sorry if I dont remember the exact names. Some days I dont remember my own.

I was in a local grocery store and I wrote my check, as usual. The cashier put it in the register and it kicked it back. And she tried again. And it kicked it back. Now am I the only person in the world that starts getting nervous and it seems as if time stands still when waiting on the receipt to come out or the APPROVED display to come up on the little thing you have to put your PIN in when using a card? It seems like I am having a heat stroke, dressed funny, having a severe acne breakout, and just all manner of things all at the time I am waiting on that darn APPROVED message, or the receipt to come out. Well, after 3 tries she had to call the manager who at the time must have been at the Georgia state line, because of the time it seemed to take for him to get to the register. I could hear sighs all the way back to the end of the line. I was so ashamed. Oh the shame!! Anyway, he punched in a lot of numbers and the thing cleared and I was on my way!! Yeah, Free at Last!! So I am taking my little cart of specials to the car when all of the sudden I hear someone walking fast behind me and saying, "Ma'm.  Ma'm.  Hey LADY!!!"  Well, I was in shock thinking, Oh my gosh, please tell me that I havent left the groceries on the counter, or my pants have fallen down to my waist or whatever, so I kept walking. Then finally the lady got in front of me and stopped my little grocery cart. She and her husband that is, stopped my cart.

To the best of my recollection, I think she said her name was Shirley Whitehead or something like that and I think she was from a neighboring county. She proceeded to tell me that this store carried the only bologna that her grandson would eat and he was allergic to peanuts and soy and so on.....and on.....and yes, on.  Well, I was concerned but also on my way to about 15 other stops that day, and it was about 100 degrees, so I was politely trying to get away. But she wasnt going to have any part of it. She and her husband and whom I suppose was her grandson, proceeded to follow me to the car. She also proceeded to tell me that if that episode with the check had happened to her, she would have told that cashier to take that receipt and that check and (sorry to be so crass but these are her EXACT words - and remember this is from a STRANGER)

"CRAM IT UP HER A$%^&*."

I stood there with my mouth open. I was absolutely speechless. I couldnt believe a stranger was telling me this. And in front of her grandson at that. And if that wasnt bad enough, she repeated it.

"Yep, I would tell her she could take that check and that receipt and Cram it up her A%^&*(."

I absolutely cant remember where I park my car half the time or where my keys are, but I can remember that lady and her speech and the look on her family's face as she said those words to me.

They didnt have a look as a matter of fact. Not one of shock. Not one of surprise. Just a look. As if she does this all the time.

She proceeded to tell me in great detail about the way the clerk had treated me and that it was just an embarrasment to me and she felt sorry for me and she wanted to tell me that. 

So now every time I have a clerk or anyone that makes me feel like I am in the wrong, I just silently say to myslef.....well you can just take that ____________ (whatever the item may be) and Cram It .......................

On another time out in public, my husband and I were eating dinner at a restaurant. The race was in town, and there was not a whole lot of choices in the evening time that were not crowded, so we wound up at a place we didnt normally frequent.

I am eating my dinner. Not even making eye contact with this lady nor her dinner companion. For some reason, she comes over to our table, and states her name, ( I think it was something like Stella Jones Williams or something like that, sorry if thats wrong) and out of nowhere she started telling us her story of this man she was with wasnt her husband. He was just someone she picked up at the races. She wasnt going home with him but he didnt know that, and she wanted a good dinner out. Ok. Nice.

But if that wasnt enough, I stopped eating my food, not because it was out of politeness, but because she had food being projected from her mouth, (it was corn I recall) and it was hitting my baked potato. Not much appetite after that.

So my husband, whom I love with all my heart, looks at me and says in front of the lady, "Debra, why do you attract strange people?"

Well what do you say to something like that? The lady finally went back to her date of the evening, and I just paid the bill and walked out with him after he finished his food.

So why may I ask do people share the strangest things with me?

I dont know. 

Maybe for the same reason they ask if I have a twin sister; if I have ever worked at _______ fill in the blank; do I know I have grey hair (yes, and its natural, not dyed).

I am an easy going person most of the time. But to answer the most asked question, yes. I do know I have grey hair. Actually its white. Its natural. Its mine. I like it this way, and dont care to color it. But thank you for bringing that to my attention.

Now, why dont these folks tell me something like,

Hey did you know that you have something in your teeth? Or that you have tucked your skirt into your pantyhose?

Folks, thats info I could actually use.

Thanks folks, you may be a little different than the rest of the world, but hey, you make my life more interesting.

And to my husband, dear, I have no idea why I attract the folks I do.

What attracted me to you? Hmmmmmm?

Thank you, Senior Citizens.
by DebraThomas
Apr 20, 2012 | 3544 views |  0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
As one of my mothers caregivers, I have learned a few lessons of late. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, because at 86 years of age, my Mother is still teaching me. I am the old dog, she is the well trained and educated and experienced teacher. And I never want to stop learning.

She has taught me from a small child to present day to respect others. She may be having a problem with memory these days, but she still knows how to respect others and shows it several times a day in her actions. If one of us, being her family members, takes her a snack or something different to eat, she will offer some not only to us but to whomever is in the room with her. Be it French Fries or Little Debbie Snack Cakes, she will always offer. Sometimes someone will take her up on it and you can see her smile. She has been sharing her love of service to folks as long as she has been alive.

And then there are the other folks in the Rehab center where she is located. They show the lines of time in their faces and hands and some arent able to get around much anymore, but they all have a story. Just ask them.

These folks with grey in their hair, and wrinkles and age in their eyes, can tell you what it was like during the Depression or the War. Doesnt matter which war, they can take you there with just mere words. If its the Depression era you want to discuss, they lived it and dont ever want to go back through that again.

Or on a lighter note, ask them about what it was like with no television or computers. What must they think of these airplanes and jets and satellites in space. Its amazing what we come to think of as everyday things and dont even get excited anymore when there is another launch of a satellite into space or a new breakthrough in modern medicine. We take so much for granted.

These folks have been through so much more than we will ever see in our lifetime. We will hopefully never know what its like to have to go and milk the cows by hand before school time, or have to gather the water for the washing of clothes from the spring down the way, or the washing of the clothes on a rock and washboard. Or better yet, a wringer washing machine.

These folks havent had many drive thru meals, or jeweled nails or any of the latest fashions. Up until a few years ago, many of them still sewed their own clothing. And if I must say, it was a better grade of clothing than we have today.

It seems to me that everything these days is disposable. Cars can be replaced in just a few years. Computers are outdated as soon as you walk out the door. Food can be eaten on the go, sometimes without stopping. News is at your disposal 24 hours a day and the sex of a baby can be known and shared around the world in just a few moments.

I dont want to have to chop wood for the stove so that I can cook 3 meals a day; and I dont want to have to get behind the mule and plow the garden and fear a dry spell that might make my crops fail. But I admire the ones before me that did do this. I not only admire them, I appreciate them. More than I can ever say.

Because of this older generation, we have the paved way we have today.

We are spoiled. All of us. We have electricity in all the rooms and are not limited to one bulb hanging from a string in the ceiling. Or no forced air coming from vents in every room. We dont have to wait on the news to come over the radio at a certain hour to know whats going on in the world.

Thank you seems like such a simple thing to say. But thats all I can think of.

As I go to visit my mother and aunt in the Rehab place, I try to take the time to smile and at least speak to as many of these older folks as I can.

To grow old will be a great honor I hope to reach. And if I am so fortunate, I pray that I will have my husband and my family to see me reach that old age. The age where wisdom is seen in my eyes, and work is seen in my hands.

Thank you Senior Citizens. It seems to me that we owe you a lot more than a discount on certain days or a free cup of coffee. 

We owe you a standing ovation. And a lot more. Respect would be a good start.

I shall try to respect more elders. I hope others will also do the same.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and if you get the chance, thank someone that is of age. It doesnt matter what for. They will know. Just say thanks.

It will make their day, and yours too. 

Promise.

Did you listen to music today or have a Debra day?
by DebraThomas
Apr 19, 2012 | 2308 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I just got a call from a friend of mine and she said, we missed you at the meeting the other day and she proceeded to tell me the details of this missed chance I had to visit with others. During said meeting, evidentally she messed up something or somewhere and she told them, "Uh Oh, I'm having a Debra kind of day."  We both laughed and I am sure the people in the circle of friends also laughed. And I am honored. To know that I am now famous enough to have a day named after me. Its great. I mean its not like a Ferris Bueller day or anything or St Patricks Day but at least I know that the words, Debra Day, may catch on and I will be the person the day is named for! Famous. Finally. Not for a great work of writing material, not for fortune, not for curing a disease but for admitting that I screw up and when I do, its a royal screw up. And, I tell about it. I laugh at myself and others laugh either with or at me, never sure which, but whatever the case, they laugh. And my day is made if I can make someone laugh. I am sure I make folks laugh all the time and I just dont know it, or its because I am not trying. I am sure that folks laugh at me for having spilled stuff down the front of my blouse and not knowing it; or driving with something hanging out of the car door or window or trunk. Or think that I am having some sort of a fit because I am directing music while driving. See I just got a CD player put in my car. First time I have EVER had a CD in a car. You have read about my cell phone so you know I am little (lot) behind the times. So when we got the CD player put in the car, I didnt even think to take a CD from home. So I had to buy one. Did you know they dont have as many CD's in stores as they used to? And then it was Tony Bennett.  Now you younger folks wont have any idea who that is, except when I tell you the CD I bought has Lady Gaga; and Amy Winehouse singing with him. And he also has Michael Buble with him and a host of others like kd lange and the such. Anyway, when he gets to singing some of those old standards that I know and love so well, I get to driving and singing and directing music as if I were in an orchestra.  Strange how music can have some sort of effect on folks. Loud music that has repetative noises makes me nervous inside. Cant understand whats being said and then its repeated about 1000 times. Or what my husband loves, which is what I call TING TING music.  You know, New Age music. No words or if there are words they are sung in Gaelic or something and again I cant understand the words.  Or the other one he likes is what I call cartoon music, which is really Classical music but I can usually name the cartoons or commercials that it came from. So did you listen to music today? And if you did can you name the type it is? Country. New Country. Outlaw Country. and so on.  So many names for so many things, which brings me to DEBRA day.  It used to be called being blonde by some folks but then I think people who really are blonde took exception. So my friend has named it DEBRA day instead.  See, its not only when I am driving and directing music that makes it seem I am out of it mentally, well its the kind of screw up things I do. Like the other day, I wanted to and needed to cut the grass here at the Ponderosa. It was weedy and I am afraid of snakes, and bugs, and ticks and lice and grass cut feet and well you get the idea, so I decided I would cut the grass. So I bought me a lawnmower last year. My husband says its not much above a toy lawnmower because its small and doesnt have a lot of gadgets. But it fits my hands just fine. And I can pick it up and put it in the car to take it to Mothers or wherever it needs to go, like to the C&C Small Engine Repair shop. I have learned not only the way there, but roads to take to be sure the lawnmower doesnt fall out of the trunk while getting there. So I go the back way through Saks instead of down 431 to the shop, taking roads that make me go downhill alot instead of up hill. Then when I get to come home with my prize possession, I drive another set of streets, making me go downhill coming home. That way the lawnmower goes forward and not backwards. Makes sense to me. Well, I was thrilled with myself because I got the lawnmower in the car by myself. Got the twine and tied it in there really good, and drove to the shop. The man called and said it was ready. I was so happy!!! So I went back to get my lawnmower. Seems the problem was a cord that had been put on wrong at the factory, it wasnt my fault after all, and they fixed it. YEAH!!! So I take my backroads coming home. All is well. I get home and I have a certain pair of clippers that I like to use in the yard to clip roses and such. Love those clippers. So I got them suckers and I went to clipping all the twine I had put around the lawnmower. I clipped and I cut and I was getting the lawnmower out when I noticed that I had cut the cord that is used to start the lawnmower into. Smack dab into. Well, I didnt bother to get it out of the trunk, I just tied it back up, went back to C&C and when I drove up, the guys there said, what happened? Then of course they had a laugh and tied a knot in it and told me to go home.....safely.  I did.  And I cut that grass (it took me 2 days because I am so out of shape) but I got it done. The next day I was going to tidy up a little bit and get the parts that I missed. It kept going dead so I turned it over to see what it was choking on. There was a shoelace or something wrapped around it, so I got it off and kept trying and it wouldnt go. I tried and I tried to start it but it blew this blue smoke out the muffler and I just kept trying. My neighbor, Jeff, next door told me to stop, you dont use something thats smoking! Well that nice man came and helped me to finish up. I was so happy. But the next morning I was up early and ready to take the lawnmower to the shop again. I did and as soon as I drove up, those nice gentlemen came out to see what in the world was wrong. They were so caring and nice and didnt say anything to make me feel stupid when the gentleman that first asked me what was wrong put gas in the mower and started it. And it didnt smoke. I was in shock. I couldnt believe it. Then after they cut it off and had a small chuckle at my expense, I told them I had learned the day before you have to have oil in the mower (Jeff asked me if it had oil and I told him I didnt know you had to have oil in them) they advised me that when I turned it over to get the shoelace off I probably got oil on the motor. Thereby making the smoke. But when the oil cooled off and dried up then I could have cut again with no problem. The men there are very nice. Very kind. And they just smiled when I told them I wasnt having a blonde day, I was just having a Deb day.   

Whats so sad, I think they understood.  But at least I made someone smile.

Did I do it when you read this blog?  Hope so, cause its sad but this is true. My life is a funny country song or a sad comedy, whichever way you look at it, but its my life.

Just laugh at me or with me, but just be happy whenever you see me. I will be when I see you.

I'm Telling You Its Hard to Be Nice
by DebraThomas
Apr 10, 2012 | 2973 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I try to get along with everybody. To a certain extent. But lately it seems like I am getting a short end of the stick so to speak when it comes to customer service. Or just people being polite in general.

All of my life I was taught to be nice and treat others like you would have them treat you. As a matter of fact, I think its a Golden Rule to Do Unto Others.......and also there is a pretty good BarBQ place by that name and they have the whole statement on their shirts which I think is pretty neat.

So I do that very thing. I treat others the way I want to be treated. Or at least I have in the past. It may be coming to a screeching halt though, and soon.

It takes a good bit to get me to the point of being mad, but once it does, its not a pretty sight. You really dont want to be within ear shot of me when I let go. And for that I am sorry. Really, I know I shouldnt but sometimes bad words come out and I feel terrible afterwards.

But I havent said any bad words, YET.

I have written on facebook about the trip to McDonalds last week when the girl (I refuse to call her a lady at this point) YELLED at me (her manager was beside her) and then had the gumption to tell me I had ORDERED THE WRONG THING. (Still havent figured that one out.)

Then I went to the grocery store and told the clerk I wanted to get some strawberries. The man told me here are some, and I pointed out, yes but those are molded. He said, well take them off and use the rest. Do I get a discount? No.  Ok, then I dont want them, and was told well then you dont want strawberries.  

Went to a restaurant that is now out of business with my future husband and another couple.

We had a lovely dinner and I wanted dessert. I asked the waitress what type pie they had and

(I swear these are her words...)we've got lemon, apple and one piece of chocolate and you dont need it. (No I didnt get out of the booth and WHOOP her, but I wanted to....I was held back).

And now its come to clothing. I have been trying to find "church clothes" for quite some time now. I have been to several stores in the county, and while I have closets full of clothes that I love, they fit about 20 pounds ago. Still love the clothes just cant get them to fasten. So the hunt is on for new clothes.

The ones I can find wont reach around my right leg much less cover anything top or bottom and if the size is right, there is not enough material there to suit me.   I dont like to show everything and I dont want to see everything that everyone else has either.  And when it comes to shorts, well, this old gal AINT going to be buying something called Bootie shorts. Dont know what they are but dont want any either.

Which made me turn to ebay. I have purchased all sorts of things from ebay in the past and had lots of fun looking at the brands and prices of what I deem good prices  and durable clothing. So I saw a sweater I liked, would do to wear during the summer months in an air conditoned place, great price, so I bought it. Paid for it via paypal. Was very happy with my purchase.

Came in this evenign and turned on the computer to see that the seller had refunded my money because SHE had put the wrong amount on the item and she wanted to sell it for 10 times the price I paid. So she took it upon herself to refund my money.

Normally that wouldnt bother me, but I wrote my note to her and explained I saw the item, bought the item and want the item sent to me at the price I paid for it and if this were a store I would have to get it at the ad price.

She wrote back and said no, stores make retractions all the time and she wouldnt sell me the sweater again at the price I already paid.

So, I write back and say ok, I dont want to go through ebay and paypal rules but if I have to contact them, then I will.

She takes attitude with me and tells me to do what I have to do. So I am. I'm telling.

Like a kid that doesnt get their way, I'm telling. 

I'm telling on her; the waitress; the guy that FORGOT to plug my air conditioner back up today at the garage when he was trying to figure out why the radio didnt work; the girl at McDonalds and just about anybody else I can think of.

I try to be nice. I really do.

In reviewing my yearbooks (annuals) from high school, it states more than once, STAY SWEET;

STAY THE WAY YOU ARE AND YOU WILL GO FAR; TO ONE OF THE SWEETEST GIRLS I KNOW; and so on.

Well, if folks in the CUSTOMER SERVICE type of work dont start being nicer to me, then I'm going to start telling on them.

Wonder where it would get me? Probably not far. I doubt the mean folks read my blogs.

But you wonderful, nice folks that do, tell them to be nice to me, because I'm trying to remain sweet and nice. I can do that easier than I can become a young girl again.

Thanks nice people. Saw a T shirt one time that said MEAN PEOPLE SUCK.

I agree.

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