Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tutu's, Hearts and Hugs

The walk was called the Albany Pink Walk in Albany, Georgia, my hometown, and we were representing our childhood friend as Team Darla. The walk was a 5k – which is 2.97 miles; I panted 2.50 of those miles. It wasn’t a race, just a long, strolling, walk with hundreds of other people on several of the main travelled roads. I had no earthly idea what the exact route was for the trek, what roads it would involve; I was soon to find out.

The official beginning time of the walk was 10am and it was a cool, cloudy, and breezy morning. As we all begin walking, you could see nothing but pink for miles behind and ahead of us. About the time I was thinking how nice of a day it was for walking, I realized where our route was taking us, on a Saturday morning; one of the main roads that will take all shoppers to the Albany Mall. Horns began to honk, people were hollering out of car windows, and I was praying; that no one would see my big behind walking in a tutu. I mean I wish I had a picture to show you, but you all can imagine a circus elephant with a pink tutu wrapped around its waist can’t you? Well, that’s pretty darn close to the reality of it all.

We had a big group of girls, some walked faster than others and some slower, so as you can imagine, we began to drift apart and separate. I won’t make you guess which group I was in, I’ll just tell you the girls in MY group were all talking about water and thirsting to death but not wanting to drink for fear of having to use one of the strategically placed port-o-potties along our route, and wondering out loud where all the medics were that we heard would be following the crowd around, and if anyone would notice if we took a short-cut through the woods instead of taking the last of the trail to the finish line.

We did not cheat, we finished. Truthfully because “our cause”, Darla, called someone’s cell phone
during the last part of the walk, threatening to get out of bed to come help us. Nothing quite like that kind of guilt trip to get you to the finish line.

Another good weekend, full of love, laughter, and wonderful women. The following words carry great value because the message is important: I believe at my age, not only is my physical health important, so is my mental health. I’m re-learning that life is just as much about friends as it is family. It has to be a mixture of it all, because I’m more than just a mother and a wife. I used to be just a girl, and some days, I am still, just a woman. A woman who vows to be there for others, surrounded by childhood friends who are doing the same; walking our hearts out for another childhood friend, doing whatever it takes to find a cure.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

At First Brush

I think there are times in everyone’s lives that it seems everything around you is sad or dreary, and even though those pains or sadness’s don’t belong to you personally, it’s still very difficult not to attach yourself to the ships that seem to be going down. Whether you’re the one tossing out the inflatable lifeboats and ropes, or you’re part of the cheering section on the sidelines; it can be difficult to remember for your own self-health, that it’s okay to be a support system, but you can’t allow yourself to become so self-involved that you no longer remember who the patient is anymore.

I was headed in that direction myself. I was moody, not sleeping properly; either wanting to sleep too much or not getting enough, and either eating my feelings or not being satisfied with food at all. I was emotionally connecting myself to everything around me, and no matter what else I personally had going on in my own life, I was not successfully making the divide for my own well-being.

But this weekend was full of nothing but fun and joy. I attended a wedding Saturday of a close friend and her family; a girl friend of mine who like me, is finding her last love in life, later rather than sooner. I was able to meet a lot of nice people at the reception where there was good food and fellowship, and hugs and love all around.

But today, I have to tell you all, I had the time of my life. I wouldn’t say I’m especially artistically inclined, I mean I like to piddle paint, decorate, and put things together; but to create, well that’s a whole ‘nother animal. I mean you give me a handful of money and I can decorate a room like nobody’s business, but I’m what I would call a “copier” at best, not a true creator.

However, for the artistically inclined or not, there is a place called Painting with a Twist located in Tallahassee, Florida. You can sign-up as a private group setting where everyone picks one design and paints the same thing, or you can sign-up for a general group and pick anything you want and paint it. Now when I say you all paint the same thing, what I really mean is, you all paint your “interpretation” of the same thing, which sometimes, is nothing alike at all.

But it’s also a time for women/friends to gather together, forget about their worries, listen to music,
sing along if you feel like it, maybe have a sip or two of wine, and laugh, gosh almighty do you laugh. Only a group of women can come together and laugh at the same things, and not necessarily have known one another at all.

Maybe the moon and the stars must have magically aligned themselves in just the right position, because somehow, I ended up having one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time.  Or maybe laughter IS the best medicine and He is always the best doctor.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dodging Daylight!

I can remember years ago when I was much younger, it was six months one way and six months another; we were allowed to have just as much time each way. Now the difference for one seems to get smaller and smaller every year that passes and the difference for the other, even longer. Soon I fear there will only be one, and life and all the joys I once knew will be changed forever.

I know I cannot be the only one who feels this way, the only one who feels cheated and short-changed. I know I cannot be the only one who is saddened and disheartened by these changes; after all, its life-alternating wouldn’t you say?

Gone will be the days of showering at 5pm, in your night-clothes by 5:30, with darkness falling at 5:45, and no one being the wiser either way. No longer will there be legitimate reasons for you to be in bed- clothes and slippers at 5:30pm, and those night-time cool-offs on the front porch glider are sure to be over with and done as well.

After all, you can’t have the neighbors gawking at you with the sun still shining for gracious sakes! And what are you doing ready for bed anyway; daylight is still burning, don’t you have things in the yard that need tending to? Things inside your home that need taking care of? Clothes to wash, freezers to defrost and tubs to scrub? Because if you’re wandering around in your bed clothes at any time of the day or night, that’s a sure sign that you have no intention of doing much of anything!

I like knowing that when it’s cold and dreary, that it’s also going to be dark early and no one will know that I have planned since lunch-time that day to NOT cook supper, but instead serve sandwiches, be in my PJ’s by the time the six o’clock news comes on and be LAZY the rest of the night! Who but my family would know, or even care for that matter?

By the time you read this, the time will have changed at 2 am last Sunday morning, so I’ll tell you who will know, my whole dang neighborhood, that’s who!  Because as soon as the time changes everybody stays outside longer, the kids are occupied and playing longer; they’re all rejuvenated and excited about the extra daylight. So now it’s all a big mystery; where’s that Mims woman? Why isn’t she outside enjoying life with the rest of us?

Well I’ll tell you right now where that “Mims woman” will be. She’ll still be inside, catching naps here and there, trying to recoup that hour of sleep she lost, which will take her at LEAST two weeks to recover. She may even be closing her blinds so people can’t see in and won’t know that she refuses to change the way she lives just because someone decided to steal sixty minutes away from her. Because she’s just not ready I tell you! Spring forward indeed, bah humbug! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Swingin' High and Movin' On

There’s something very special about being able to spend extra time with your grandparents. My parents were retired by the time my youngest son was entering his teen years. He was too young drive, but young enough to stay alone, which meant his days would have been spent locked up at home playing video games, watching television, and eating junk all day. Instead, my parents invited him to their home in Albany Georgia and provided so many learning opportunities, lessons of patience for all, and invaluable memories that will never be forgotten. 

His grandmother had a membership at the YMCA; she would take Zach to the pool with her several 
times a week and would in the end, teach him to both swim and dive. He would learn to swim so well, and with such endurance, that at the end of that summer he was able to swim-lap two miles without stopping.

They would find a blue hole in Wacissa, Florida that held a plank/stand and a rope. It would be
awhile before Zach was brave enough to swing and jump, but after several visits of packing picnic items and watching others swing and jump – he would finally do it and never looked back.
One of those summers his granddaddy bought a canoe and he and Zach would find every lake, blue hole and river to row for miles around, in both Georgia and Florida. They took many trips trying to build their endurance and excel their rowing abilities. One of the last trips they made, they rowed Lake Chehaw up to Muckalee Creek and back again for a total of nine miles.

There was a piano in their home, and his grandmother would teach him enough that he could master
the electric piano they bought him as his going away gift at the end of that summer. 

His granddaddy also began teaching him about stocks and bonds during those early teen summer stays. They helped him buy stock in his name, and for years they would contribute to that stock for every A -grade he made in school. By the time he was 18 years old, he was contributing himself, reading his quarterly statements on his own, and watching his funds grow.

My mother often tells a story involving my grandfather, Zach’s great grandfather, who was still living at the time. When Zach was about three years old he was walking from the back of my parents’ house to the front, and as he rounded the corner of the house my grandfather said to my mother “Have you ever noticed how Zach walks?” And my mother replied “Do you mean how he walks with such authority?” And he replied back, “Well, I was just getting ready to say, he either walks like he owns this place, or he’s fixing to buy it.”

Zach will be 20 years old this week, and he still walks just like that; with authority and ease, and like he just bought the joint and closed the deal of a lifetime. I imagine he always will. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

They Call Him Oscar

They will be flowing across the sea of red cloth, packed and stuffed into their beaded and sequined dresses; their necks, wrists and fingers draped with jewelry/monetary value that could feed a third world nation for months. Their hair and faces will have been molded and modified, erasing years, masking wrinkles and age spots, and making them appear as if at least ten years never passed. They will be princesses, all of them, stepping out of their carriages, posing for the camera’s and smiling for all the world to see, hiding the nerves that have been wracked for days on end.

The reporter’s will fight to get the first words and the most magnificent of sound bites. Everyone wants to hear the wit and humor that has been practiced in front of a mirror for hours. The shameless gushing and bragging will begin, the inquisition for designer names to be dropped and the questions of who was asked to wear what by whom. It’s a designers dream for their name to be announced on national television and for the most gorgeous starlet to have said yes to wear THE dress.

And the men, the men will be in tuxes of various colors, trims, and styles. All very dapper, cool and sleek. Some will simply be the prince who looks handsome as he holds the proverbial slipper, and some will be actual honoree’s, but all will be spinning across the red cloth as well, smiling, talking and matching wit for wit with the ladies of the night.

This is a night where class is expected to shine, and dignity is a must and any less will not be accepted. It is after all, THE honor for the craft called acting and performing, and it demands the respect of such. It is the night of the Academy Awards and that precious golden statue called Oscar that everyone strives to achieve; the night would be filled with surprise wins and monumental acceptance speeches given by most who attended.

JK Simmons would accept his award, and in turn, plead for everyone with a phone to call their parents; not to text, but to call and tell them that you love them.  Patricia Arquette would end her acceptance with a passionate plea for equal rights and equal pay for women everywhere; which would receive fist pumps and shouts of approval from all the women in the audience and at home.  

John Legend and Common would deliver a resounding song from the movie Selma; “Glory” would be sung with enough spirit and passion to raise the rafters and receiving not only one, but several standing ovations, along with their passionate speeches praising Martin Luther King, civil rights, and respectful diversity.

And Graham Moore, delivering his own very personal speech, telling everyone to follow their dreams, and never be afraid to be different or weird; and that when it is your turn to stand proud and be a winner one day, pass the same message along to others. 

A night with the movies. What a magical night indeed.