Sunday, October 23, 2011

"If I had my life to live over..."

The other day someone sent me a list of things that should make you think about your priorities and the way you live life.  One of the "hmms" was, "I wonder if some of the people on the Titanic skipped dessert that fateful night..."  I've been dieting and dieting and dieting...That statement made me want to run out RIGHT THEN and get dessert.  Any dessert... It also reminded me one of my favorite essays.  I have this essay framed and hanging in my home.  I'll share it with you.

If I had my life to live over...
If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to
make more mistakes next time.  I'd
relax, I would limber up.  I would be sillier
than I have been this trip.  I would take
fewer things seriously.  I would take more chances. 
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual
troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who
live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I've had my moments and if I had it to do over again,
I'd have more of them.  In fact, I'd try to
have nothing else.  Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead
of each day.  I've been one of those persons
who never goes anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had it to do again I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start
barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in
the fall.  I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.

I would pick more daisies.
Nadine Stair
85 years old
Dear Nadine,
I so very much agree with the sentiments of your essay.  I'm very glad I found this while I was young.  I've tried my bestest to live by these ideas as well as for the Lord.  I think I'll have another moment...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Great-great Grandpa Henry and Great-great Grandma Mary's Lost Baby

With the first cold snap of October on this dark dreary night comes the remembrance of a story that took place long ago...

I never knew the baby's name.  Never knew if it was a boy or a girl.  It seems the memory was so horrible that no one ever spoke of it, other than the warning of the story.  Sometimes that is enough.  It happened in the place where I grew up, just a few pastures from the home place.  It happened on a very dark cool October night, late in the middle of the night...

It seems Great-Great Grandpa Henry & Great-Great Grandma Mary had had a new baby, born in early September.  At that time the woman stayed in with the newborn at least a month.  In fact, my daddy insisted I also do that.  He told my husband that I needed my rest and so did the baby.  We followed this advice as well.  So, after a month of staying in, I felt like I understood how my Great-Great Grandma Mary felt.  I was told that after her month, she begged Henry to take her over to the neighbors for a visit.  He consented.  The day they chose was so beautiful that Henry decided not to hitch the mule to the wagon.  Mary was concerned but he consoled her with the thought that the walk and fresh air would be good for her and the baby.  Way back then they were pretty use to long long walks and this one was several miles.  They set out early and arrived at their neighbors in time for nursing the baby, then lunch, naps, and finally some front porch visiting that went way into the night.  Great-Great Grandma Mary was quite upset at how dark the night was and how fast it had come upon them.  The neighbors begged them to stay the night.  This was not uncommon in those days,  in fact most people stayed several days after such a visit and such a walk ahead of them.  But, Great-Great Grandpa Henry was quite a stubborn man.  He had a cow that needed milking, chickens that needed feeding, and a hog that needed sloppin'.  So he convinced her to set out with him.  Instead of taking the road, Henry decided a trip through the pastures would be much faster.  There were no dangerous bulls or anything in the pastures.  The worse thing was the barbed wire fences.  But Henry had made these treks so many times that he knew exactly how many steps were between each fence.  He told Mary he'd warn her when they were coming up on the fences.  So with adventure in his heart and wariness in hers they set out.  Even though the night was dark, cold and dreary they really were enjoying their walk and the night air.  When they came upon the last fence, Henry said, "I'll go through the fence first and when I'm across you can hand me the baby, then you come through."  Of course Mary agreed.  Henry went through.  He said, "Mary, hand me the baby."  He waited.  She waited for him to help her through.  Then he said again, "Mary, hand me the baby!"  She gasped, she shrieked, she grabbed at him as she shouted, "I already gave you the baby!"  The hands that took the baby from Mary's hands were never found out and neither was the baby.  Henry and Mary did have other children.  But on dark nights, in October, no one was allowed to leave the house...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cheers to You!!!

2011 - 2012 CPJH Cheer & Dance Team
Thursday night was the last regular football game for this school year at which our cheerleaders will cheer & dance.   They were great!  This has been an awesome season and I along with my partner, Suzanne, are very tired.  The eighth grade cheerleaders were great leaders and tried to make sure that everyone knew the dances, cheers and stunts.  The seventh grade cheerleaders really stepped up.  All worked hard and together made a "job" a very pleasurable experience.  They have been delightful in many ways.  Here's just a few thoughts on 18 remarkable young women:

Macy:  Was the "Cheerleader/Dancer of the Week" for four weeks in a row for good reason.  Over the years pom-poms have been lost and every year we have a different number of Drill Team members.  So this year one team member out of eighteen would wind up with one pom-pom while the rest of the team had two.  The last person to pick up pom poms (or pom, in this case) would pout and say something like, "Can't we just cheer without pom poms."  I'd say, "No, now cheer."  It DID NOT matter who it was, we'd look up in  a few minutes and there it'd be, the one with one pom-pom would be Macy.  She'd trade EVERY TIME!  She is just that kind of person!  A great person to be around.  Thanks Macy.

Jaycee:  Fondly known as the "Little General".  Even though she is the smallest member of the team, she can come on with the biggest attitude.  She wants everything to be perfect and will drill, drill, drill, drill...til everyone on the team gets it right.  You have to respect her for this, mainly because she is willing to put in as much of herself in the work as she requires from others.  Thanks Jaycee.

I will not forget the willingness of Presley and Olivia to go along with Jaycee & Hollin's pleas, "Can we stunt again?  again?  again?  again?...."  I know Presley & Olivia had to be tired but they always joined in to do their best on their part with a smile. They make me smile :) Thanks Presley & Olivia

Dakota & Kaylen:  Willing to be a flier, even though they were not always sure of their stunt or stunt group.  Willingness and trust can mean a lot to make a team successful! Way to go girls!

Makayla, Samantha, McKenzie & Meagan:  Facial expressions galore!  The cheer and dance moves are nothing without those beautiful facial expressions.  You four have it down perfectly!  You make me smile.

Aaliyah, Kandace, Sara, & Taylor:  Willing to help in any way they can.  One of the things I've seen all four of them do at different times is to guide others that might not have the cheer or dance down exactly right and yet patiently mentoring them.  Great example for all!

Cheyenne & Sevannah:  First year cheerleaders, or return cheerleading (after being out a year) willing to take criticism and "fix" what's wrong with a "Yes, I can" attitude can mean EVERYTHING!  Thanks!

Blair:  Being the base of a stunt group can be as dangerous as being the flier if the flier sits on your head.  This happened to Blair and even though her head received some bumps the girl was ALWAYS a trouper!  She has a great attitude and wonderful respect for herself and others.  Thank you!

Hollin:  One that I could call on at any time and would try her best to step up to the plate and get the job done!  Wonderful person trying to lead with her heart and winding up with a bruised heart at times, learning that a leadership position can be harder than being a good follower.  You go girl, thanks!

Suzanne:  I could not have a better Co-Coach!!!  Excellent!  We believe in hard work and one another! 

It was a pleasure to work with one and all.  The football team could not have had a more devoted group in their corner.  Win or lose..."Hey, hey, We Believe in You!"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

5-K...No Hill for a STEPPER!!!

Tammy G and her parents, Barbara and Don
Tammy is a SERIOUS marathon mover and shaker!!!
I am proud of her!!!!

Yesterday I realized I'm going to have to get on board!!!  On board what?  The 5-K Walk Train!!!  Years ago I had the privilege to work under a principal that challenged me both as an educator and a healthy person.  Rebecca L. was and still is a sound educator that expected everyone under her authority to be the very best they could be.  I tried to rise to that expectation.  I had no problem doing that in the classroom or as an assistant to her in any of her efforts, because I love education, study education, live and breathe education.  I did have problems being the best example health wise.  I am and was then fat.  Rebecca challenged me to begin walking with her.  We walked three miles everyday after school for thirty pounds.  That is exactly what she walked off of me.  But you need the picture, sorry I don't have a physical one, so you'll have to envision this.  Rebecca is at least 5' ll'': she is a lean, mean, fighting machine.  I'm Pooh Bear; "short, fat, proud of that, in the mood for food."  One day she had her long, lanky stride at full steam.  You see we were also walking off all the stress of our day.  I was running, puffing right beside her with my short, fat 5'2" self, giving it all I had.  All of a sudden we heard the screeching of brakes.  I checked to make sure I had not fallen out in the middle of the road.  Sure enough I was still chugging along.  But there beside me was a little red truck and behind the wheel was a little old white haired man, probably an angel sent from heaven to save me.  This little old white haired man reached over rolled down his window and spoke real loud to me.  He said, "Lil Lady, (He had my heart right there.)  It don't matter how fast you try to walk, you are not going to be able to keep up with that long legged lady there!"  He chuckled and pulled off.  Rebecca and I both laughed.  I bet we looked funny to most of the people watching us.  We stopped walking together, I think Rebecca started running.  She had done her part, I was enjoying walking.  Another teacher, more my stride, started walking with me, Jo N.  Jo and I walked, talked and enjoyed solving every problem in the world.  When all of that was done we started dreaming.  We decided we would enter the 5-K Walk for the Natchitoches Christmas Festival.  I told Ken of our goal.  He said, "Debbie, Do you realize that the 5-K Walk is a Walk/Run and it is indeed a race?"  I, in my best teachery voice, reminded him that it was the tortoise that won.  This was not the way it turned out on that December morning.  You see Jo lived on the trek we had been practicing and on the Christmas route as well.  When I walk that much, I'm going to have to take a bathroom break and maybe a coffee break.  I did.  When I finished the race, along with Jo, there was one person behind us.  It was the policeman, in the car, assigned to follow the end of the race.  They had already given out all the fruit, water and congratulatory notes.  But we had finished the race, therefore we had WON!  I was reminded of this just yesterday when several of my teacher friends and students entered the walk for Columbia's Art Festival.  Congratulations Kim G., Tammy G. and Autumn G.  I am proud of you.  The journey is sweet because of challenges we meet and conquer!  Bring it on, I'm getting ready.  There just has to be a bathroom along the way...
Kim G., finished her first 5-K race in 56.36!
Yea You!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Cotton field in the fall, Louisiana Snow!!!

Sunflower fields ready for Dove Season

This is my absolutely favorite time of year!  I love October - December, but October is THE month.  It's always been the month I enjoy the most.  Maybe because it's the FALL, and I do that so well.  Pun intended.  It's the colors of fall, the smells of fall, the football games, the fairs, the new TV shows, lots of "stuff" that I love!  But it is named the FALL!!! I've ALWAYS done that well and I must enjoy it because I do it a lot.  The other night, Ken and I went to dinner at Red Lobster in Monroe.  He parked, I was looking at my phone and did not notice our parking spot.  Ken always comes around and opens my door for me, but this time I beat him and was getting out on my own, talking and looking at my phone.  Multi-tasking overload!  Ken had parked right next to the curb.  There was a tree planted there and that should have been a clue, WATCH OUT!  But it went unheeded and so did my feet.  I fell over the curb trying to get out of the car.  I thought for a moment I would hit the dirt with my face, but I turned just in time to land on my rear.  This added a bump, bruise and soreness to  my already permanently swollen derriere.  Ken came running around to help me up, but I couldn't let him.  I was afraid if he pulled too hard he'd hurt himself or myself.  So I crawled to the car and stood up.  He was so apologetic and said he'd never park by a curb again...Bless his heart, you'd think he'd know by now that it doesn't really matter.  I can fall over my own two feet, out of a chair, bending over, standing up straight...It doesn't really matter.  I guess I just love going down and I do it so well...The journey is wonderful, enjoy the falls along the way...
Grandchildren + Fair = Fun for All!!!