Sunday, May 9, 2021

A Single White Carnation


There is a beautiful tradition of passing out carnations to the mothers in the congregation on Mother's Day.  One single, fresh cut, long stemmed carnation for each mother.  A red one to those whose mother is still living.  A white one to those whose mother has passed on.  I am sixty years old and have never received a red carnation. Yes, my precious mama passed six years before the birth of my 1st child.  A year before I met and married my husband.  

Some years I have felt simply honored and loved when I received my carnation.  Some years, I have felt my own mother was honored and remembered by my receiving of this floral symbol.  Some years where too busy and hectic to even reflect upon the significance of this tribute.  But this year, the still, quiet perfect storm that it is, I felt tender, poignant sadness.  

This brought forth reflection.  Tears shed that it has been nearly 40 years since I had my mother.  Memories of her laugh and her love.  Grief for those I love that have also been without their mother for way too long.  Thankfulness for the women in my life who have helped to fill that void through the years.  And more longing for the ones who are not here any more.  Grateful that they have all gone on to glory and are safe with our Lord.  Joy in the hugs of beautiful grandchildren.  Loneliness that my own children cannot be with me this year.  Pain for those who cannot be with their mamas.  Hurt for those whose mamas failed them and for the mamas that have to live with that regret.  Lastly, a sense of longing to comfort, uplift and brighten the day for one and finding myself at a loss as to how to do it.  Perhaps that is the root of this mood, not the carnation.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


I have long enjoyed viewing posts in the bi-monthly Thursday Tree Love blog hop hosted by Parul at Happiness and Food.  For almost as long, I've thought I should jump in with some shots of our wonderful assortment of trees here in Caneyhead.  Well, today I have finally made it!  

This is a view looking up through the boughs of our sweetgum tree into the blue Texas sky.  Over half of the leaves have fallen already for autumn.  A little over half of those left are golden brown in the late afternoon sun.  The rest cling to green, like our Southeast Texas days cling to highs in the 80's.

I have had a fondness for sweetgums since my childhood.  I liked the velvety softness of their star shaped leaves.  The rich, cool shade they give in summer.  The way their bark peels and curls up to reveal a surface smooth as stone.  Many happy days playing in the deep San Augustine grass under a towering sweetgum in the backyard of the old rent house on Cooks Road.

Please join in and enjoy the other trees featured in this weeks edition of #ThursdayTreeLove.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

#SoCS: Hush!

Hush!  I said Hush, Sam!  Hush!.......Good boy!

Hush!  Use your quiet voice or you will wake the baby!

Hush!  Okay, just hush!  I don't want to hear another word about it!  You know what?  Just go to your room.


So, this is a little game.  Can you figure put to whom I am speaking in each of the three separate instances?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


It amazes me how people act like manners do not matter when it comes to cell phones.  Much too often, they will look at them, tap them, type into them and swipe them off and on, or even continually, while you try to converse with them. 

There are other places and ways simple courtesy seems to have broken down.  Like a couple of weeks ago at the tire shop.  I had some work done.  Headed down the road afterward.  Realized something wasn't working right and went back to complain/inquire.  The young man actually rolled his eyes and looked off to the left when he realized what the subject was!  I called him down on it.  I said, "Excuse me, but I'm trying to tell you something and you need to look at me when I am speaking to you." 

Well, it did get looked at and someone did answer my questions, but it's just an example of the kind of lapse in geniality (and in this case customer service) that Maxine's cartoon brings to mind.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

#SoCS: Arm

I read the word "arm" and a song begins in my head, "walking my Baby back home."  My mind's eye sees a gent walking down a street with a lady on his arm.  Flashes of old black and white romantic comedies start to play. Shy guys, full gowns, starry nights, convertibles, sweeping staircases, big bands.

Catching one on the late night or Saturday afternoon movie.  Mother humming along with the songs, visibly enjoining reminiscing. Snippets of tales from her era.  Then how she met daddy.  

Oh, she's not here any more.  Long gone from this world.   In her arms was all comfort.  Everything soft, loving and warm you can imagine.  Daddy comes into view.  His arms meant strength and protection.  Yet, somehow they empowered me.  Daddy never let me hide in them, but rather used them to support me as I tried new things and went  new places.

My mind's stroll ends with images to keep misty tears at bay:  a grandmother kneeling to wrap up grandchildren in an embrace,  chicks scurrying under a hen, a man grabbing a child and lifting them up, spinning and smiling.  Then, the face of Jesus.  And we are home.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

#SoCS: Shortcut

Here I am, stinking my toe into the Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

My first thought upon hearing the word "shortcut" is skimping; not doing something the way it should be done.  Taking chances that risk loss or harm.  Why does my mind go there first?  Likely because I have lived in a blue collar world were these type of short cuts cause harm most often.

As to the "short cut" that gets a person from one point to another in less time, those can be quite handy.  I have a few I take from time to time when out driving, but what excites me the most is not a shortcut, but a back road.

One can slow down on a back road.  Take in scenery, find the quaint, the unusual.  Mom and Pop instead of chains.  There is no extra signage on a back road to block the view.  There is a feeling of adventure and discovery on these blacktop or dirt ribbons.  A calm settling rather than a hurried frenzy.

Go ahead and take your short cut, and I'll take the back road.  You'll be there before me, but I'll arrive more satisfied.


Friday, August 4, 2017

#Faith - The Word on Words

"They are men of violence and injustice. O my soul stay away from them. May I never be a party to their wicked plans. For in their anger they murdered a man and maimed oxen just for fun. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce and cruel."
Genesis 49:5-7, TLB

This is Jacob (Israel) speaking of two of his own sons! He was on his deathbed, giving them blessings for their future. These two were so angry and bad that he had not one good word for them. 

Just to be angry is not sin. You know, Jesus was angry when he cleansed the temple. But we all too often get angry for totally unrighteous reasons. Selfish reasons, that stem from pride.  While Christ's actions driving the animals from the temple and overturning the money changers tables drew criticism from the authorities, in the eyes of God he did nothing wrong.  All too often our anger leads to wrong actions and sin.

Anger left to simmer can lead to violence. Don't keep company with angry people!   At the worst anger can be infectious.  In the least, you can be swept up or harmed by their actions.

My mother's mother, Mama Ruth always said you could judge a lot about a man's character by the way he treated animals. Violence and cruelty are never God's way! We are in the world, but be not of the world.

May God bless each soul that happens this way today!


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