Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The last few lines of Loretta Lynn's song, "Coal Miner's Daughter" have been haunting me, lately. "Not much left but the floor, Nothin' lives here anymore, 'Cept the memories of a coal miner's daughter." So, I woke up around one this morning, and here's what I wrote. Call it a poem, call it whatever you like. Just don't throw anything at me. Ok? lol Home with Mamaw was making that last turn and seeing the afternoon sun reflecting off the trees at the bottom of the hill Home with Mamaw was walking up the front steps and going right in Home with Mamaw was cornbread in the microwave and Pintos on the stove Home with Mamaw was “Coffee’s on!” and visitors after church Home with Mamaw was the scents of fresh cut wood and earth in the summer Home with Mamaw was the bite of a fresh snow and woodsmoke in the winter Home with Mamaw was seeing the moon on a clear night Home with Mamaw was impassable roads covered in ice Home with Mamaw was an old dolly piled with laughing kids Home with Mamaw was a slightly flattened ball after a game of Andy Over Home with Mamaw was well water, biscuits and sweetened rhubarb Home with Mamaw was warming yourself by a wood-burning stove before school Home with Mamaw was sled riding down the hill on Christmas Day Home with Mamaw was too many bee stings out in the yard Home with Mamaw was “Can’t make it through the day without a song about the Lord.” Home with Mom was plenty to eat Home with Mom was noise...always noise Home with Mom was ball games all weekend long Home with Mom was “Get out of the way! Let me sweep up this hair!” Home with Mom was toys everywhere I step Home with Mom was sisters sleep together Home with Mom was “Are you ready to go?” Home with Mom was “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” Home with Mom was her way or the highway Home with Mom was church when we could make it Home with Mom was hearing her sing “Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me.” Home with Mom was baby sisters to hold Home with Mom was left over biscuits in a baggie to take on the bus back to the blind school Home with Mom was home made breakfast to go on long bus trips to school on cold mornings Home with Mom was hot chocolate or tea to keep me warm before catching the bus on those cold mornings Home today is TV’s blaring so loud I can’t hear myself think Home today is the happy sound of children laughing Home today is Saturdays beside my man, not needing to say a word Home today is laundry that seems never done Home today is dishes that never stay clean Home today is quiet enough at night to write Home today is reading the Bible at the kitchen table Home today is learning to bake sinfully sweet treats Home today is long talks with my man after listening ears are asleep Home today is joying alongside my children when they learn something new Home today is playing in the yard, Home today is ticking baseboard heaters in the winter Home today is a noisy air conditioner in the summer Home today is neighbors way too close Home today is too small for visitors after church

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Unnamed Poem

I think about you a lot these days, The things you said and all your ways. The sound of your voice in laughter and song, Just hearing it I felt nothing was wrong. You’re just a memory, alive and well, In my stories I often tell, Of the things you taught me and funny things you said. Yes alive and well, but only in my head. At my table you sat, seems like yesterday. We drank coffee and talked away. I made you a bagel. I won’t forget. That I would get burned was your worrying fret. Good times have come, wish I could tell you about. Hard times have come and brought lots of doubt. And others have left us since you died. You would have sorrowed; you would have cried. But, death has no respect for souls, It rips through lives leaving holes, That will probably never be mended again; There will always be this emptiness within. “Death is swallowed up in victory,” we’re told. We’ll meet again on a street of pure gold. But, were is the comfort for the here adn now? Once again on my knees I must bow.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


The morning before I left for Columbus, I couldn't sleep. So, I turned on the mac book and wrote this blog entry. Thought I'd wait until I came home to post it, so here ye go. We are such a smart bunch of people. Did y’all know that? I mean, we know things our ancestors could only scratch their heads over, and we have done things that used to be science fiction. For instance, people have walked on the moon. Normal everyday folks went in to a man-made craft, punched some buttons and flew to the moon. Not only that, they stepped out and planted their feet on it...well, maybe planted is a strong word. If what they say about gravity is true, and i have no reason to doubt them, then it would be nearly impossible to set both feet at the same time and stand still on the moon. But, I wasn’t there, so maybe they did that. Here’s what’s funny, I can’t see pictures from space. I can’t see the videos taken in space, so can I really say it happened? lol Here’s something else amazing. We know what kind of bacteria ticks carry, and not only that, we know the signs and symptoms and how to treat them, successfully. There was a time when every fever and chill, every runny nose and cough, no matter how you came by it was simply called the Ague. Every high fever that affected your brain in any way was called scarlet fever. Today, we can take pictures of the inside of our bodies and know exactly what is going on in there. Today, antibiotics can kill most bacteria. Today, simple cleanliness saves lives. There is a robotic airplane that can fly without a human inside of it and can measure things like air temperature, barometric pressure and lots of other stuff, just to help predict how bad hurricanes will be. The robot can not fly in to a hurricane...as if it would want to, but people can fly a plane in to a storm that strong. They often do this, just to study the storm. Not so very long ago, all folks had were their eyes, common sense gathered from living in a certain area all their lives and possibly a barometer to forecast weather. Today, we can turn on the TV or radio or internet and get all the latest details on how fast the wind is blowing, how much rain is predicted to fall and what we should do about it. As they say on the weather channel quite often, “You can be prepared.” Now, i have a few questions. What are we preparing for? 2. Why is it so important to preserve life? 3. What does knowledge about space do for me down here? These sound like stupid questions. Don’t they? I mean, didn’t I go to school and learn anything? Answer: I did go to school, and I think I learned a few things. And, I don’t think these questions are as dumb as they sound. So, let’s start with question number 3. Why is it so important to know about space? When I was 8-years-old and in third grade, I remember I couldn’t wait until science class. I loved learning about space! Don’t ask me why, because I couldn’t see any of the pictures they showed. It could have been all a fairy tale as far as I was concerned. But, something about space appealed to me. Later, at the age of seventeen when I got the chance to go to space camp in Huntsville, Alabama, I learned I would never get to go to the moon. For one, I’m too blind, and for another, I’m too short to fit in to the suits. lol So, we know the sun is 93 million...or is that billion...miles away from the earth. We know the planets revolve around the sun. We know there isn’t as much gravity on the moon. And, this helps me today, because... Don’t know about y’all, but one thing it does for me is help me appreciate God’s handy-work just a little bit more. But, can we stop an astroid from slamming the earth, just by knowing it’s out there? If we have to put on all this equipment just to breathe in space, why would we want to live there? And, as for life on other planets, why do we care? I mean, we’re killing our own babies, so life isn’t that important. Right? Stick with me, ya’ll. Ok, so since I mentioned life, let’s talk about question number 2. Why is it so important to preserve life? Folks, there are doctors out there now who will do an abortion during delivery. Did y’all know that? Killing babies when they are just coming in to this world! Ahem, is it appropriate to talk like King David and say, “Destroy them, O God. Let them perish from off the earth.” Ok, maybe that’s being harsh, but it’s how i feel, and someday they will answer for the deeds they do. Anyway, if we’re so stuck on saving lives, why don’t we start with the healthiest of us all; our babies! It’s a good thing to kill bacteria with antibiotics. When I get sick enough, I go to the doctor, and I’m real glad she can give me a shot or a pill that will cure me, because I know that 100 years ago, I would have died if not for that stuff. I’m thankful for defibrillators, ventilators, oxygen tanks, MRI’s, bone scans, hypodermic needles and all that other stuff, but let’s get our priorities straight! And, finally, what are we preparing for? This is the question you probably think is dumb, but that’s ok. Hear me out. A few weeks ago when Isaac was on his way to Louisiana, I watched a lot of the weather channel. Call it boredom, call it curiosity, but I wanted to know if it would destroy places like Katrina did. Men and women alike were outside in all that wind and rain, telling you how it felt, how fast the storm was coming and what you should do about it. And, yet people still stayed behind and had to be rescued, which put others’ lives in danger. That’s no skin off my nose if you want to get stuck in a flood and wait to be rescued, all the while clinging to your roof, but what bothered me was people were more concerned about pets than other people. Shelters for pets is great. I’m going to go get a dog today, and I’d be mighty worried if something happened to that dog. Don’t misunderstand me, here. I just think...once again...our priorities are messed up. People are paid a lot of money to get on TV and tell you a storm is coming. I don’t want anybody to be out of a job, but couldn’t we put some of that money to better use. I mean, come on, we know a storm is coming. Let’s help folks evacuate. Let’s help build levies. Let’s feed the hungry. Oh, boy, I don’t want to get started, but i think I already have. We spend too much time, energy and money on the wrong things and wonder why the country is in debt. A true leader, one who was concerned about his country would not use tax payers’ hard-earned dollars to go on vacation. A leader who truly cared about those he represented would be more concerned about those people and quit worrying about appeasing other nations. A true leader would do all he could to make his country one that did not rely on foreigners to sustain it. A leader who cared would not try to squelch one person’s religious beliefs while fully embracing another’s. And, this talk about being fair, well, I tell y’all like I tell my little girls, “Nothing is fair!” And, folks, it never will be. Yep, we’re a pretty smart bunch. And, to prove it, here’s one more tidbit I find interesting. Fifty years ago, some kin of mine made their own moonshine. Today, the President is having his staff make beer in the White House. Hmm. Wonder why it used to be wrong but ain’t wrong now? Is it because the government wanted control? Maybe. Well, now, I’m tired enough to sleep, it’s almost time to get up and get ready for the day, and I’m thirsty, so reckon this is goodbye until next time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Home Coming

In some ways, having a new guide dog is rather like having a new baby in the house. It isn’t the same, of course, but feeling as if there is not enough of me to spread around is the same. Monday evening and Tuesday morning were like that. I felt a bit frustrated, because the girls needed their mama, I needed the girls, things needed doing and my dog needed me, too. On Saturday we did go to Walmart, and my girl did great. If she stopped to sniff the veggies, she did it rather sneakily, so I never knew. There was this old lady who asked to pet our dogs and did actually pet them, but as it turns out, that old lady was just our trainer in disguise. Hahaha! On Sunday our trainer took us outside to do obedience with our dogs, as he had done before, and then a fellow student and I took our dogs out to the Alumni Park to walk around and enjoy the awesome weather. Just as a side note, the Alumni Park at Pilot Dogs is just that, a park created by the Alumni of the school. There are bricks and pavers out there, memorializing folks and dogs alike. There are obstacles to go around, benches to sit on, and it’s very peaceful and quiet and private. Anyway, Sunday afternoon, our trainer took me and another student on a walk around town. It was only a few blocks, but I guess my body knew it was supposed to be a day of rest, because just those few blocks wore me out. lol That night, after dark, our trainer took me and yet another student on a night walk. The difference between a walk during the day and one at night was something I didn’t notice, but my girl can see, so I’m sure it was different for her. But, she lead just as well in the dark as she did in the light, so no troubles there. Monday morning I finished packing my bags, fed my pup, brushed her real good and left at 8:30 for home. We got here around noon, so the man who brought me walked with me and my girl around my home town. Then, he took me to McDonalds for lunch. He took us to the Vet to get my girl her rabies shot and then brought us back home. My girls showed up a few minutes later, and oh it was so good to hold them and kiss them. The hubby brought pizza home for dinner, and it was kind of like a balancing act, when I started to get everyone ready for bed. But, surprisingly we were all in bed by 9. Yesterday, Tuesday, the man who brought me home took my pup and me to Walmart to do some work. Again, she did very well. Then, he brought me home to do more work around my home town. I learned how to get to the town hall and a better way to get to the clinic. By the time he left, I was ready for a nap. lol I took one, too, after my kids and I ate lunch. Last night all 5 of us went to Cracker Barrel for dinner, and it went fine, except my doggie didn’t want to go inside. It was weird, and we can’t figure out why, but when we approached the doors, she hesitated to go in. I encouraged her, but she wouldn’t move. I corrected her, as I was taught to do, but instead of moving forward, she turned completely around. The only thing we can come up with was she was looking for my girls, but we’re not sure. I had my husband and daughters to go in front of me and followed them in, and it seemed to work. But, I’ll bet that nice man who held the door for us went home and told his wife, “I saw this lady and her guide dog at Cracker Barrel, and that dog acted real funny when that lady tried to go inside.” lol Nothing to be done about it though, except work on obedience and try again another day. So, now things are starting to settle down here at home. I have a crate for my pup to sleep in, she is quieting down after the excitement of traveling, and the only thing left to do is find out where in the world I’m going to store her food. Right now, it’s in front of my washer and drier, but it can’t stay there, because there’s a mountain of laundry that I have to do today. Before the man left yesterday to go back to Columbus, one of the things he said to me was, “Walk around this town three times a day, and you’ll be fine.” Reckon he never had piles of laundry, a house to clean, girls to homeschool and dishes to do. lol Walking 12 blocks a day is great and beneficial, but it’s easier done when someone else does the cooking and cleaning. At guide dog school, coffee was ready whenever I wanted it, meals were prepared for me, the floors were cleaned for me, too. All I had to do was walk around, make my bed and care for my dog. Now, I have kids and a house to care for as well as the dog, and somewhere in there, I have a husband I’d like to spend time with. Fshew! Did I bite off more than i can chew?