Monday, September 29, 2014

It's funny how  small things can make you think back about a memory in you past. This is what happened to me this morning. I was having a sweet tooth fit and there was absolutely nothing in the pantry to help me out.  I thought about how Mama would make me cinnamon toast after school for a snack.  I don't know why we continued to call it cinnamon toast because she would leave the cinnamon off for me. I didn't like cinnamon in my childhood years. She would place several pieces of toast all in the long pan and then create her magic. She would dab on butter, sugar and then the vanilla flavoring. I can still see her holding the top of the vanilla flavoring bottle in her hand with one finger over the opened top letting out just enough flavoring to make it good, but not soggy. She didn't have to use a spoon to make sure she got enough on because she was my mama, the creator of all things tasty and good. Then she would place the pan of  slice bread inside the oven just enough to toast it a light brown. When she opened the door of the oven the aroma would fill the entire kitchen with a sweet smell that made me feel all warm, happy and content. The cinnamon toast didn't last long with daddy and my sisters. Mama would always wait until everyone got the amount they wanted and then she would pick her a  warm piece of  cinnamon toast and enjoy it with her cup of coffee. After making mine this morning, I realized you can never duplicate childhood memories no matter how hard you try. Mine came out of the oven  smelling  and looking like Mama's but it didn't taste like  hers. I sat eating my cinnamon toast trying  hard to relive the time in mama's kitchen feeling the love she had for me. That was easy, but the taste left me empty. I finally broke the toast into small pieces and tossed it to the birds. They seem to enjoy my cinnamon toast without the cinnamon. I have decided not to try to duplicate any of mama's recipes again. Mama had a way of making everything she did whether it was cooking , sewing or putting a bandage on our skinned knee feel magical to us.  All this takes a special person and that is what Mama was to me and everyone that knew her.  Thank you God for letting me still hold on and remember special moments in my life.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

This picture holds a very sweet memory for me. I can remember the first time I held this flower/weed in my hand with Mama's hand wrapped tightly on mine holding the flower close to my lips. She whispered in my ear, "Close your eyes, make a wish and blow all the white wishes from the top." I loved the thoughts of the top being white wishes all for me. I blew as hard as I could but no matter how hard I tried they wouldn't all blow away. Suddenly, I felt the warm breath of  Mama blowing against the side of face. She was helping me and all my wishes soon filled the air around us. My  next memory of these flowers was when I was older and running through the cow pastures with my cousins. We would gather as many of these in our hands as we could. Each of us were trying to see if we could out do the other in collecting the most. We would be very careful picking them so the wishes wouldn't blow away before we had the chance to close our eyes, make a wish and blow them ourselves. Innocent times, innocent play and a life time of memories that make me hurt for more time to share  with others.  So, if during a hike in the fields or pastures, if you are lucky enough to come upon these flowers, pull it gently, close your eyes, make a wish and blow with all your heart. Maybe if your lucky your wish will come true just as mine did as a child.

Monday, May 5, 2014

                                                                  The Dinner Bell

 I love my dinner bell. I had always wanted one just for decoration, but  soon learned that it was good for the purpose it was invented. My son looked high and low and finally found one at a neighborhood yard sale. I couldn't wait until my husband put it on a  pole and placed it in our side yard. I was eager to cook a meal and then ring the bell as a signal for everyone to come and eat. Soon I was ringing that bell when I baked a pie, ringing that bell when I made cookies and ringing that bell when I wanted everyone to come into the house. My grandson and his friends even got into the act. They would gather at our home to play ball and I would get busy baking cookies. Just as soon as I pulled them from the oven I would rush out and ring that bell. I will always remember the smiles on their faces when they knew it was time to come inside and eat warm cookies. The kids are growing up and it doesn't seem as much fun to listen to the ringing of the dinner bell but they still enjoy eating my cookies or my chocolate cupcakes. There isn't as much action with the old bell anymore except for the birds landing on top and resting awhile in the sun shine before they continue their journey. I still have my memories of all the kids running around in my back yard with pleasurable expectation of my cookies. The dinner bell will continue to get a fresh coat of paint each season and yes, after the paint dries  I ring that bell for old times sake.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

This week we had a wonderful vacation at one of our favorite spots- Myrtle Beach, SC. Each morning we would wake to a beautiful sunrise while sitting on our balcony sipping sweet tea and coffee. God knew exactly what he was doing when he created the ocean and the beach. He made very many people happy when His creation was made. Sometimes it is hard for me to just sit back and take it all in. Thank you God for allowing us to enjoy such beauty.
 I love taking pictures not only of the waves beating upon the shore but the ocean wheat  and weeds that grow alone the banks that is used to help protect the shore lines. Many little creatures make their home in these weeds.
 Our favorite pier to fish on is the State Park Pier. You can meet some of the nicest people there. Sometimes the fishing is not that great especially when the temperature of the water hasn't warmed  to meet the fish demands. They refuse to take the bait unless the temperature of the water is just right. That is when you can just lower your line into the water and meet and greet people. I am a typical Southern lady that never meets a stranger. I made 2 friends while sitting watching my husband fish. One was a sweet lady named Judy and the other was a Vietnam lady named Anna. When I meet people and I know I will never get to see them again I call them "my in the moment friend." This means they were there and I was able to talk to them. I will never see them again but they will remain my my heart.

I enjoy taking pictures under the pier. Sometimes it is scary to look straight out toward the ocean beating up against the large poles that holds up the pier. I always wonder how much pounding these poles can take from the storms that occur occasionally.
I enjoyed taking pictures of my book "The Southern Belle Breakfast Club." I carried around the book taking all kinds of odd pictures,. Those are the most fun. People would stop me and that gave me an opportunity to chat about their lives as well as mine. Life can be so much fun if you just let go and enjoy it. The people that you make friends with while just strolling down the beach might become your very best friends.

Another month has come and gone and now we are into May already. I love the month of May. So many things happen in this month. The flower bulbs that I had planted earlier in the year tries to pop their little heads up from the hard earth. Flowers are for sale in all the stores just waiting for me to purchase them. We plant our neighborhood garden and mowing grass is a must do once a week. It  does bring more work but it is fun. It is like life is taking on a new leaf and we have to do everything we can to make it better.   

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

                                                             My Thought For Today

                                          Today I am pausing and counting my blessings.
                             I am blessed with a wonderful family, great friends, and good health.
                      I look forward to waking up each day and conquering what ever is before me.
                                   Over the last two months I have lost some very dear friends.
                                          They have made that final journey into Heaven.
                                     God has blessed me with their friendship for many years.
                             Now, I have memories so I accept and rejoice in that knowledge.
                                    I continue to count my blessings that I am able to grow old,
                                       but it would be nice to keep the body and mind that I have now,
                      but just let the years roll on without creating wrinkles and mindless games.           
                                                          Now, what was I doing?????
                                                      Oh yes, counting my blessings!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

                                                                       Is It My Fault?

                                Grandmamma, is it my fault that Mama and Daddy got a divorce?
                                   If I had been different would they have made another choice?

                                        Maybe if I had brushed my teeth until they shine
                                              Done my homework always on time

                                 Maybe if I had kept my room clean and done my chores
                              Maybe I asked for too many toys when we went into stores

                                         I promise I went to school and did my best
                                               I tried to pass every spelling test

                              I just know it was my fault, Grandmamma, so what do I do?
                                   I heard the whispers and they said they were through

                                        Are they through with me or just each other?
                           I can't stand the thoughts of not having a Daddy and a Mother

                             So, Grandmamma, you say in no way it was my fault
                                     And I should never give that another thought

                                       You tell me that in time it will get better
                          But for now, Grandmamma, I think I will write them a letter

                            So dear Mama and Daddy, if it was something I have done
                                  I promise I will change and I will be a better son

                                 I promise I will not ask for a single Christmas toy
                                  In this whole wide world I will be the best boy

                    So, if you can see in your hearts to change this thing called divorce
                            I know in MY heart we could figure out another choice

                                       Well,  Grandmamma, I wrote them a letter
                                       But I don't think  things will get any better

                                     Grandmamma, please wipe away all my tears!
                               Will you hold me tight and squeeze out all these fears?

                       You tell me adults sometimes do things that is silly and dumb
                  I guess you are right cause just look what Mama and Daddy have done

                            No, it wasn't my fault but Mama and Daddy are to blame
                                  Now, I'll no longer hold my head down in shame

                                   No, it's not my fault my family isn't together
                                   So, I will love them equally forever and ever

                         But when I say my prayers and then close my eyes at night
                   I will still wish that things were the same and everything was all right

                                             Poem by Phyllis f McManus
                                                 Art by Jenny Zovein

                                     Copyright 2011 by Phyllis f McManus