“And that’s not all, folks!”

Image It may be hard for some to believe but this isn’t all of my family. Technically it was a gathering of the Eubanks clan but a few didn’t make the picture for different reasons. My mother in the red shirt, is one of ten children and since my beloved Aunt Katherine passed away two years ago, the oldest child. My father standing beside her is a Holmes but he’s been married into the family for so long, I think he’s absorbed some Eubanks DNA . He is most assuredly loved and appreciated by all that surround him in this picture.I grew up thinking that everybody had this many cousins and aunts and uncles but that’s just not true and ,for some, that’s just fine. They like having a small family . As for me, I can’t imagine my life without them. For some reason, years ago, I acquired a nickname, “Mouth of the South” and it was busy Saturday I admit but having acquired some common sense over the years ,it shut tight at times and my eyes and ears took over and I listened to stories and watched the faces of my family. I heard the old legends and juicy stories and mostly I witnessed the power of love. I guess one had to be there to truly understand but the love was amazing. Not perfect, it didn’t heal all illnesses or magically fill the missing spaces with those we have lost but it did enable those of us who were there to remember them with joy. In the days and years to come, there hopefully will be more gatherings like this but ,the memories made on this day are special in their own right and I will cherish them till the end of time. Good morning!

Too cute for words

Image Then again, this is my blog and when,if ever, have I truly been at a loss for words? Not often,well as long I could think of something to say. This morning is like pulling teeth since I was so busy last night in my dreams. I didn’t run a marathon or hike the Great Wall of China but I was an attendee at a wedding reception where the cake table had two beautiful cakes and plates and napkins galore but no forks. This little man above, only much older in my dream, comes over to me and says, ” Grandmama, you’re just going to have to wait,somebody will be through soon and you can use theirs!”  Well, me being myself ,even in a dream, says no and walks over to a table and sits down and proceeds to eat with my fingers! Hey, that cake looked really good, although I have yet to see a wedding cake that was multicolored inside like that. Looked like rainbows painted with delicate brushes in watercolors which in retrospect, is how rainbows should be portrayed . Delicate, fragile ,since in reality, they are the result of light refracting though molecules of moisture. I believe painting them in solid broad strokes causes them to lose some of that magic but that ‘s just me. At any rate , after the wedding reception, I found myself walking through an office building trying to keep up with my group and of course when we passed by a mostly empty room ,filled only with a TV set and a table and chairs, my posterior almost beat my feet to a chair to sit down. I got caught up in the story unfolding on the screen and again, here came Aidan, bending down to whisper in my ear,”It’s time to go Grandmama, or we’ll lose the group!” . We walked to the elevator and ,of course ,we’ve lost the group . Entering the elevator, which had plastic draped on three sides, we exit but not into a hallway. The doors open up to a garden like none I have seen before and I wish I could remember more but Aidan and I were walking through the garden like we were both 2 year old kids, the colors were so vivid and the green grass was so lush and soft, we just kept touching the flowers and hugging the trees,playing hide and go seek ,giggling happily. So, this morning, I am dragging big time because Aidan kept me moving in my dream. He does that in real life sometimes, keeps people moving, putting one foot in front of another. Today, it will be upcoming events that keep my feet moving and a couple of cups of strong coffee. Good morning.

New beginnings and old promises

Image  Oh the memories that this slightly blurry picture brings back! The good memories, the excitement and the love shown by those who came and showed their love and support. The humorous memories,the seven cans of shaving cream Mark Collier brought to decorate the little orange VW the two of us drove away in ,dripping toilet paper and shaving cream all the way to the carwash,my mother getting us stuck in a mud puddle that morning.How beautiful my bouquet was, the freshness of the flowers and the brilliant color of the yellow roses  reminding all who knew  why I had that color,of the woman who wasn’t there. The marriage has since ended, the VW was sold along time ago, age has caught up with all pictured and one good natured trickster Mark Collier has crossed over way too early . When I look at this small visual reminder of a new beginning and an old promise, I see one promise that was made and has, to this day been kept. My daddy has always loved me,even through those difficult teenage years when I just knew I knew more about life than he did,he still loved me . My father will turn 96 this December and like my faith that there is a God and He does love me, I have no doubt about this man’s love either.There are those who deride and denigrate my faith,pointing out my faults and foibles as evidence of the falseness of my belief but they miss the simple fact that even at the worst times of my life, I felt the love surround me from my Heavenly Father and I still feel that kind of love from my earthly father. That’s the example of love I try to hard to emulate ,to love even when the one you love isn’t being very lovable and I do.

My June babies

Image Caroline came on the 25th though she was due on the 5th but since she was 8 pounds 4 ounces ,I believe she came when she was supposed to. Amy, was due on Caroline’s birthday but she must have decided she wanted her own birthday for she held out till the 29th to arrive.These two little girls ,my June babies, are now grown women with busy lives of their own. Caroline even has two little girls of her own and does, from time to time, relive my life and times with her and her sister which is humorous. I always wanted babies of my own, even as a little girl I loved babies so I knew when I got married , that I wouldn’t put off having children,after all, with my plumbing, I was apprehensive about a lot but I planned and on this day ,here came my first little one. We learn a lot about how to really parent from that first child  because one can read about  and study and even take care of other children but until it is your child for which you are responsible 24 hours a day, it is just not the same. At least it wasn’t to me, Caroline has, over the years ,taught me life lessons I thought I already knew but until she came along, it was just words on a page. I think of my children as my contribution to what is good in this world and a living legacy that will be here long after I am gone. I may not leave behind  a vast fortune or massive buildings bearing my name but when I go I will leave behind “works of art” , my little girls and Caroline is my first “canvas” and I believe she turned out quite well,magnificent even. Good morning.

ImageIt’s been  32 years since this picture was taken. That’s my niece I’m holding and she’s sitting on top of my soon to be born daughter Caroline who turns 32 tomorrow. Where did the time go? It’s cliche but true,time went quicker than I thought at the time. 9 months seemed to drag by  although there were a few humorous moments such as the wedding I attended a week after my due date had come and gone. Every uncomfortable shift in position or  slight moan brought the ones sitting near me to ask if I were going to “drop that baby right here?” but no, she decided she wasn’t ready until the 25th. Oh I thought I was so ready and prepared for the birth, her father and I had attended Lamaze classes  and really, how painful could it be? I had witnessed cattle and other animals giving birth and they seemed to do just fine so I was sure I would sail through this. They do say pride goeth before a fall and well, it did but epidurals , competent nurses and Hortman,Wilcox,Cates and the ever precious and sweet voiced Dr Jordan saved the day and I had this beautiful baby girl. 8 pounds and 4 ounces of female and she was and still is, amazing. She now has children of her own and is living the life that I find myself missing terribly . Silly ,isn’t it? Missing those days of diapers and clutter and 24 hour responsibility for another human life but mostly what I miss is being able to see my child every day and be there when she needs me, hold and comfort her when she needs her mommy but that’s the way life goes. My own sweet parents still ,I think, see me as their baby and there are times when I’d give anything to still be able to crawl into my daddy’s lap and let him make everything better or tell my mother about all my problems and let her tell me how to fix them but time has gone by and while I could still handle my little girl crawling in my lap for a hug, my daddy just couldn’t handle my bulk but he can still hug me and that is a good thing. Almost 32 years ago, I started my journey as a mother and of all the things I done in my life, being a mom is one I have never and will never regret because the good moments, the love far outweigh any bad moments. So  ,Caroline Leigh, just in case I don’t say it tomorrow, Happy Birthday and thank you  for loving your crazy mom because she sure does love you! Good morning!




Eyes are the windows to the soul

ImageGood morning and it is a good morning. After all I’m typing this so I woke up this morning and you are reading it so you did too and, for the most part, that’s a good thing. Every morning is a brand new day and a brand new chance to accomplish something positive, to make a difference in somebody’s life. Every Monday starts a new week for me and this little blue eyed charmer and I do pray everyday that I make a positive difference in his life. Now he’s only three so unless I am really lucky and am able to always be a part of his life, when he gets older, he may not remember me but I hope that when people look into his eyes and see his precious soul, they see just a little of my influence. He is a very blessed little boy, he is surrounded by people who love him and cherish him  and regard him as a  blessing, not a burden to be borne but an amazing gift to be grateful for every day of his long life.Now his eyes are very young and my father’s eyes are very old but I see the same amazing love in both and that is a gift to me that I am very much grateful for. It’s Monday and a new week of possibilities for this little guy and for me and I intend to make the most of it,after all two special birthdays happen this week, my oldest and middle daughters, Caroline and Amy Katherine, celebrate birthdays and my mother’s family has a reunion happening this weekend so it will be a busy week. Here’s hoping your week is as good as mine and next Monday finds us once again greeting Monday with a smile and a big cup of strong coffee. Good morning

Show me the way

Image When the eyes start to fail, whether it is due to age,accident or in my Uncle Vance’s case, macular degeneration, guidance must be given. Now this wonderful dog named “Dutch” was an exceptional guide dog and for years around Calhoun, he could be seen carefully guiding my uncle on his  walks,keeping him from straying off the safe path to Burger King or where ever my uncle was bent on going that day. He did such a good job for my uncle that Uncle Vance  lived into his nineties . Now as much as my uncle loved Dutch , I’m quite sure he would have rather had Dutch as just a much loved pet and had full use of both his eyes but the reality was he needed guidance and Dutch did just that. There have been times in my life that I wished I had had a guide like Dutch. No, I haven’t wished myself blind in reality but there have been times when I have wished I could have closed my eyes and not seen what I saw and just held on to a safe handle till the guide on the other end guided me safely to the other side of whatever horrible thing or danger threatened me. Oh I have had guidance all my life from the people in my life, I’ve been guided by God  but there have been times I think I would have appreciated Him manifesting as a sweet loving furry friend who always knew which way I should step or turn so as to keep me safe and out of trouble. That inner voice ,that gut instinct that told me the right thing to do ,well since it wasn’t visible to others,I let them tell me they knew better than I for whatever reason but those occasions always led to disaster and that is my fault. I knew better,but I didn’t stand up for what I believed to be right. Well I finally stood up and haven’t backed down  and the outcome hasn’t changed but I am tired of being told I’m wrong when I know I’m right. I’m not often right, I am just as flawed and subject to mistakes as anybody else but this time , my little voice says to stand my ground and I shall. If you read and understand, well thank you and if you don’t ,well, that’s par for the course ,I’ll survive, I always have.

Just this moment

Image                                                                                                                           Can I just go back to this moment in time?

Just long enough to still feel those feelings

The joy, the excitement, the awe

That I did something so wonderful

So special and so hard as  bring another soul into

My world, that world that was so imperfect even then

But still full enough of possibility and hope

That I did something so brave

But I did not do it all alone

Other brave souls surrounded me and supported me

And stayed beside me for the long road ahead

Can I just go back to this moment in time?

Feel the love and anticipation  of something I’d never done before?

Feel the love and not only love but trust

Trust that love given would turn into love received

Can I just go back?



I wasn’t going to write today

 I wasn’t going to do my weekday deal today.I woke up just wanting to exist and drink my coffee and for a little bit, pretend everything was just fine and people that I still love and care about hadn’t lost  a man who was half their world . Sad thing is, they’re not the only ones losing loved ones. Being blessed enough to know a lot of people and having a lot of friends , means there doesn’t seem to be a direction I can turn without learning of a new loss  and profound grief  but that is life. As much as I wish with all my heart I had the power to wipe away those tears and bring a lightness of spirit back to those I love, I don’t. I’m just me, all I can do is say a prayer and express my sadness at their loss  and then go find something like this old picture of my grandson and his smile and remind myself that life does go on and sometimes ,for me at least, remembering the joy eases the pain. Good morning Image

Memory morning





ImageWell, he didn’t have to talk much then. Seems all the people around him tended to “read his mind” and he’d get whatever he wanted or needed before he could open his mouth. No real harm done,he’s growing up into a smart ,sweet and very talented boy and I pray and hope that he’s allowed to fulfill all that bright promise. Children are these “gifts” given to us and regardless of whether they are born to us after 9 months under our heart or chosen to fill that spot in the family that needed a remarkable young soul, they are precious. Note that I said precious ,not perfect and no one really is although if one is lucky, there will come into their lives from time to time, individuals who ,while not perfect ,come bearing “gifts” that can change our world if we let them . If we  give them the freedom to grow and hone their talents in the right way and not constantly snipe and pick and criticize ,in a destructive way, the very things that draw us into their world can change the bigger world they live in. Understand that I said destructive, there is a vast difference between constructive criticism and the more insidious “destructive” . One helps to teach , the other only serves to tear down and shatter or weaken and while some people don’t seem to realize they are doing this, others ,unfortunately, not only know that this is what they are doing, they revel in it and leave a path of “emotional wounds” in their wake. However, this bright young sweetheart is a positive and constructive young man and he has the potential to teach others and expand their minds and hearts if he chooses to be an educator , we don’t know yet what path he will take but he comes from a family filled with teachers and educators of all kinds. He also  ,like his great-grandfather , has a talent for sports so perhaps one day he might be a brilliant athlete on the world stage but even if all he ever does is teach in a small college ,he will leave behind him when he is done, a shining light of knowledge that he was loved and appreciated by those whose lives he touched . My grandson is just getting started , he has a long life in front of him I hope but yesterday we lost  someone who, though he had lived a long productive life , the world needed to hang on to a bit longer but his body was just worn out. No, Dr Tom Lagow was not my father ,he was just one of those individuals that I was so privileged to have  in my life to serve as an positive example and I will never forget him and when ,sometime down the road, my own father makes his own way into the next world,perhaps someone will remind me that people like these two men  made our world a better place to reside in and that my grandson can too! Maybe ,eventually my heart won’t hurt so much but in the meantime my prayers and condolences go out to his tiny family who are surrounded by a lot of love and support if they need it. Good morning.