Saturday, October 31, 2015

Missing a friend

Not all of you are on Facebook, so when I say "Facebook Memories" you have no idea what I'm talking about.

I'm one of the ones who loves Facebook.

It helps me keep in touch with friends and family I'm unable to see as often as I'd like.

It suits my own quirky social profile to a "T," being one who isn't really as social as I know I appear to be.

Facebook Memories is a little feature that pops up to show us snapshots of things we've posted in past years.

One of today's memories was this: 

". . . We like what we like, period. I sat up last night to finish reading Kaye Barley's WHIMSEY, a beautiful book, with Kaye's personality shining through every page. I can't decide whether she wrote a fairy tale for adults or a Cinderella story for the child in all of us, but I loved it."

Seeing sweet words written by a woman I loved, admired, respected and miss more than I can say took me by surprise this morning.

A lot of you knew her.

She supported all of us as we started on our own personal writing journey.

She supported us so fully that her own work was often put on hold.

She lived life to its fullest traveling the world riding a camel one day, maybe an elephant the next while always managing to look sophisticated and elegant with a mischievous sparkle in her eye.

Lifting my coffee cup to my friend Pat Browning.  I hope you'll join me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wheeeeeee! Fun News!

Could I get a loud and boisterous Yee Haw from y'all, please? 

I was one of the finalists in this year's Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Saying goodbye

By Herself and Her Friends

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone,
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, Parting is hell,
But Life goes on, So sing as well.

Joyce Grenfell

Donald and Harley and I drove to Atlanta for the weekend.

We took some back roads as much as possible so as not to have to deal with the idiocy of expressways.

There are always fun things to discover traveling country roads, and this trip we ran across this wonderful old home that looks like it should be sitting on Nob Hill in San Francisco.

It wasn't sitting in San Francisco, but was instead in Shelby, NC

Donald and I lived in Atlanta for many years, but we've been gone almost 20 years.

The skyline looks a little different than it did while we were there.  

The traffic, however, looks about the same.

We stayed with dear and much loved friends Vickie & Brent Smith.

and we had a fabulous time.

We were welcomed with smiles, heaps of love, open arms and a wonderful home cooked meal, cooked by one of the best cooks I know.

And Harley was warmly welcomed also.

Saturday morning when we woke up, truthfully, I only wanted to pull the covers up over my head and stay right where I was.

But, I couldn't do that.

We were here to celebrate the life of Mary Hazel Messick Wilkinson.

As much as I wanted to do this celebration, my heart was breaking.

Quite plain and simply, I could not have done it without Vickie.  I just couldn't have.

So we started the day early by first picking up flowers, then picking up balloons.  All things Vickie had taken care of ordering and making sure they would be ready for pickup at the appropriate times.  

She was also the brains behind the mimosas for a toast to my mom at the end of the ceremony.  

The ceremony which was perfect thanks to our friend John Messer.

Truly, it could not have been any more perfect.

John set a comfortable, loving tone for us to send my mom off to join my dad.

He told some sweet stories, some very funny stories and shared some memories from over the years.  After which others had stories to share as well.

If Mother had been able to tell us what she might have wanted, I feel pretty sure it was exactly what we did.

We done her proud, as we're fond of saying here in the south.

We sent my mom off amid a few tears, but a lot of smiles, amongst friends, family, flowers, balloons and champagne on a beautiful Georgia day.

And it was a magical day.

We celebrated the life of Hazel Wilkinson in a way that I know had her, and my dad, smiling.

Following the service and after the toast, there were balloons.

More magic.

And then there was lunch.  A long, lovely, relaxed lunch.

Where we discovered that folks who thought they didn't know one another had all sorts of friends of friends and intersecting lives.

And then it was back to the Smith abode.  

More champagne.

and plans to go out to dinner were changed to 

pizza at home - Yay!!!!

And then Sunday was here before we knew it.

Time to say goodbye.

As Kasey Fennell would have said, "it was a good weekend."

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Life goes on after you close someone you love.

Of course it does - we know that.

We all go through it, have gone through it, will go through it again.

But it is different each time.

And the differences for each of us are amazingly wide and varied.

But at the same time can be very much the same.

Those sudden memories that can come back from surprising places.

And they bring with them a smile.


They bring tears.

And somehow, even though we know these feelings are going to come, we're never fully prepared for them when they do.  Or for what they do.

And as a friend of mine said recently, there's not anything anyone can do other than lend a loving ear.

A loving ear.  Isn't that lovely?

It means much and I thank all of you who have held my hand from afar during these posts about my mom and lending me a loving ear.  

The Celebration of Life Service we have planned keeps getting closer and closer.  

Am I ready?



But, friends have stepped up to the plate and have taken pretty much everything out of my hands.

They let me share with them what I hoped for.  And knowing me, and Mother, as well as they do have come up with little details that will make it a perfect day.

Donald and I can never thank John Messer and Vickie Smith enough for being who they are and doing what they do.  And what they're doing to help with Mother's service is actually just the cherry on top of the loveliness of who they are and what they've brought into our lives for many years.

Today I woke up a little blue.

Sitting here on my bed with my coffee and my laptop I was able to visit with people I love through Facebook.  Say what you will about Facebook - it is a connection spot for me that is irreplaceable in my life.  When you have friends who are scattered hither and yon, it's the perfect venue for sharing thoughts.  I have found my Facebook community to be a loving, vital part of my every day life.  I find it extraordinary, really.

After I got beyond the weepies Harley and I took a little walk.

It's such a perfect day I decided to grab my camera, take a ride and take some pictures.

I have taken this same photo hundreds of times over the years.

But I cannot resist it.

This is the view we have driving down our road heading into town.  

It continues to take my breath away, even after 20 years.

When I got into town I was lucky enough to get behind this!


I would have loved to talk to the person pulling this little gypsy caravan, but they apparently had places to go.  How fun to go there, wherever "there" might be in this little piece of heaven.

And I continued into town driving down Boone's main street - King Street.

And was reminded that early voting has started.

I parked my car so I could get out and collect a hug from my friend Loretta Clawson, former mayor of Boone and soon to be a member of the Boone Town Council (fingers crossed!).  Loretta has been an inspiration to me for a lot of years.  She has no idea.  AND -  I even tried to vote.  Only to be reminded that this was a town election.  Since we live outside town limits, we're not eligible.  But I tried!  

Loretta looking who usual lovely self.  Me - no make-up, hair a mess.  oy.  But you know what?  Oh.  Well.

And since the car was all nicely parked, I decided to walk down to Watsonatta for a little visit with my friend Ellen.

Ellen is the woman responsible for my undying love of cowboy boots.

And, now it's home again - a place I love to be.

A little Mother Nature and photo therapy did my heart good.

A little retail therapy helps too.


Thanks, Ellen