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August 22, 2009


Today we went to the Bluegrass Festival at Summer Shade and listened to some very talented musicians. To be August 22nd the weather was totally weird. Cool, drizzly rain and a gentle wind blowing. It felt like fall. The bands were playing in a covered building and the benches we sat on were actually old church pews (and not very comfortable). I can’t imagine sitting on them for very long.

If you’ve never heard bluegrass it’s an unusual sound and takes a little getting used to. It’s country music but with a lot of harmony. Most of the bands sang some religious songs as well as some of their own.

As you can tell by the picture, my granddaughter and I had a great time.On the way back to the car we picked up hickory nuts and you would have thought she’d found buried treasure. “My da-da will be so proud of me!” she said. I’m not sure why picking up the nuts would make him proud, but it really doesn’t matter. It made her happy.

The best thing about the festival was it was free. Most of the best things in life usually are.

Remembering Strawberry Shakes from Gene’s Freeze

August 9, 2009


I’ve been thinking about my last post, about eating more ice cream. Obviously the point of Robert Hastings essay was NOT that we should all eat a gallon of Chunky Monkey every day, but that we should enjoy life. You don’t have to eat ice cream to appreciate life, but sometimes ice cream helps create a celebration.

When I was a young girl sometimes on Sunday nights, after church, my parents would stop at Gene’s Freeze and my brother and I would get a special treat; supper at a drive-in restaurant. I always had the same thing. A bacon and tomato sandwich, curly fries and a strawberry milkshake (with real bits of berries floating in it). I know it sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen, but it was sooo good and those trips with my mom and dad and brother were so special.

My dad worked a lot and for him to go with us anywhere was a treat in itself. As for ice cream, he was a banana split guy. At Gene’s Freeze they came in little boats with lots of whip creme and a cherry on top and he could eat the whole thing at one sitting.

Mom liked ice creme sundaes but her favorite was pralines and cream, which also happens to be my favorite.

I don’t remember what my brother’s favorite was. I guess I was too busy drinking my strawberry shake to pay much attention to him.

The Tasty Freeze (my name for it) is still standing and is a glorious reminder of the drive-in restaurant. Long before there was Sonic, there was Gene’s Freeze. It’s been a pillar of our little community for years and years and I hope it continues for many more. I plan on taking my granddaughter there and telling her about the days when I could eat bacon and tomato sandwiches, curly fries and shakes and not have to worry about gaining a pound or having a heart attack.

Those were the days! 

Why you should eat more ice cream

August 4, 2009




         Years ago I read an essay by Robert Hastings called The Station. It made such an impression on me that last week when I made this picture of my granddaughter, I thought about the essay and decided to re-read it. It was every bit as good as I rememered. Basically it compares life to being on a train and says that often we get so busy trying to reach our destinations (goals) that we lose sight of the joy of our journey. Here’s a short excerpt. 

    “Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!”    From that day on we will all live happily ever after.    Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion–it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.

 Are you enjoying your journey? Are you relishing the moments? I try to, but often find myself feeling more like I’m in a race than on a journey.

Today I am not going to run; I’m going to stroll leisurely. I’m going to smell the roses (in someone else’s rose garden-I can only grow weeds) and I am going to give thanks for my journey and to my father in heaven from whom all blessings flow!


The End of Summer Fun

July 28, 2009

summer-fun.jpgThis morning my seventeen year old twins and their best buddy, Jessie, went to get their high school class schedules. They came home discussing the joys of learning, how much they hoped their classes challenged them, how they couldn’t wait to eat delicious school lunches and what fun it is to get up at six thirty every morning (okay, I’m lying). The truth is the ONLY thing they are thrilled about is they were able to get in advanced P.E. class. Oh well, that’s one of the joys of boys.

Of course I know not all boys are like mine. I have two nephews who love to read, make straight A’s and will probably grow up to be brain surgeons. I love them dearly, but my boys are just not geared that way. They had rather be outside than in a classroom. Had rather be moving as opposed to sitting still. And when it comes to reading, if it’s not Sports Illustrated, forget it.

When they were little I always took them school shopping. Now they prefer to order anything they need online and spend their last moments of freedom on the golf course. This morning when they asked to go golfing I gave them a list of things to do to earn the money. They cleaned the whole upstairs in less time than it takes me to load the dishwasher. Of course they probably threw stuff in closets and under the bed….but I’m not going to look.

I remember my high school years like it was yesterday. It wasn’t yesterday, but at times it feels that way. There are so many things about being young that have stayed imprinted on my mind as clearly as my granddaughter’s handprints on my computer screen. Things like…the heady feeling of freedom when school is over in the spring. The possibilities of a whole string of endless summer days just waiting to be filled with summer fun. The trepidation of knowing those days are coming to an end.

I remember and I’m thankful for all the memories, but I don’t want to be seventeen again. I lived through it once and that was enough. So as I watch my boys load their clubs and take off down the road to the golf course I find myself thinking about the fact that in the blink of an eye my babies will be graduating and moving on.

Have I told you “thank you” today Lord for my boys? If I haven’t, I’m saying it now. I love them dearly. Thank you for the joy, the mess and the stress that’s part of raising boys!

My wonderful son-in-law

July 24, 2009


Just about one year ago our only daughter Rachel married her best friend, Gabe. It was a beautiful wedding and I loved watching the young groom watch his bride walk down the aisle. One guest told me “The way he looked at her is the way every mother hopes her son-in-law will look at his bride. You could tell how very much he loved her.”

 A year later things are going well and they are busy and very happy together. There are lots of things I like and admire about Gabe. His boundless energy. His enthusiasm for life. His kind heart are just a few of them.

He’s also great with Abby, our only grandchild and Rachel’s only niece. Often when Abby is talking to Rachel on the phone she’ll say, “Let me talk to Gabe.” The fact that he loves children thrills me too because someday when the time is right I know he will be a great father.

Gabe’s birthday is coming up soon so this is my way of saying, “We’re glad you are in the family and Happy Birthday Gabe. We love you dearly!”  

My life in the fast lane

July 18, 2009


This summer has been a blur of activity. Martha and Mandy came for a visit (cousins from Florida). They left and I went to Atlanta to visit women friends (I want to say girl friends but does that apply when you are over 50?). Girl friends would probably be more accurate because that’s how we act when we are together. Like a bunch of silly teenage girls. We went to my friend Debbie’s lake house. It’s on Lake Sinclair, near Milledgeville. She has a pontoon boat and we got barbeque and had a supper cruise the first night. We managed to knock one of the lights off the boat and lose part of the boat cover in the lake, but other than that we did fine. At least none of us was lost at sea (or in the lake).

Another night my friend (also named Teresa but we call her Mosier) brought cooking supplies and cooked us a delicious dinner. It’s been three years since we all got together and we had a lot of catching up to do. We talked, and talked, and talked. My face muscles ached from laughing so much. We cried together too. Since the last time we were together one friend had lost her mom to cancer and another’s dad had died from a stroke.

Debbie took me back to her house in Atlanta because Bill and the boys were in South Carolina at a AAU Tournament (which they won! Go Mid-State Ballerz!) I got to meet Debbie’s son Zach for the first time. He’s 23 and could easily be a movie star. He has tall, dark and handsome totally nailed down.

Bill picked me up and he had two extra boys with him; Anthony and Joe. Buddies of my boys who are from Memphis and needed a ride because that’s where we were going…to another AAU tournament. We rolled into Memphis about 2 a.m. in the morning. I went to sleep dreaming of Elvis and hoping the rumors that he’s still alive were true and that I’d run into him at the gym the next day. Didn’t happen.

The first day the boys played well but Russell injured his foot and after day one, he was out. Grant played the whole tournament. One game he guarded a guy who was 7 foot and one inch. Bill about fell off the bleachers when Grant blocked the big guys shot. Our team fought hard but were too tired to take it to the finals. We made it to the semi-finals and left for home Wednesday morning.

I have never seen two teenage boys so happy to be home. They have hugged on their dogs, ridden the four wheeler, mowed and weed eated (without complaining) been to the lake and to the movies…all in just a couple of days. Summer is almost over and they are feeling the need to take advantage of what’s left.

I have two more years with my babies at home. Believe me, I know how fast it goes. The oldest three children come to visit but once they leave home, it’s never the same. So today when the boys said they wanted to go eat at the Mexican restaurant, I dropped my broom and dust pan and said, “I’m going too.” I wasn’t hungry. I had a glass of tea and watched them wolf down enough food to feed a small army.

God is great. Life is good. Family and friends are such a blessing!

P.S. The picture above is Debbie standing next to her street sign at the lake house. I love you Debbie, Pam, Toots, Nett,Kim, Tammy and Mosier. Let’s do it again soon!

Kentucky Down Under with Relatives from Down Yonder

July 6, 2009

My cousin Martha and I have been best buddies since we were both in diapers, and that was a long time ago. She lives in Florida but she’s been here visiting for a few days with her daughter, niece and two grandchildren. In an effort to be remembered as “fun Aunt Teresa who lives in Kentucky” as opposed to “boring Aunt Teresa who we HAVE to visit in Kentucky” I have tried to come up with things to keep the kids entertained. Today we went to Kentucky Down Under, which is a Kentucky version of a few things native to Australia.

 This is Martha helping her granddaughter pet a kangeroo.


We also went on a cave tour. This is Mandy and Maddie inside the cave.


Next we have Martha’s niece Hannah and Maddie panning for gold.


The kangeroos were not especially impressed with us. As a matter of fact this guy rolled over on his back and wanted us to scratch his belly. All he needed was a t.v. remote in his paws and he’d been all set.


It was a fun day and I am so very thankful for Martha, her friendship and her love. You rock, Martha!

For more about Kentucky Down and more pictures visit

What I did on my summer vacation

June 30, 2009

me-and-russell-at-camp.jpgboys-at-camp.jpgboys-at-camp-2.jpgI spent my summer vacation at basketball camps. Why would someone my age want to go to basketball camp? Because my boys are there of course. This week I’m in Richmond, Indiana watching boys from all over America improve their shooting skills. Another reason I’m here is because of something that happened four or five years ago. You see I’ve been to this camp before. I brought son number two here and left him, drove back to Kentucky only to get a phone call the next morning informing me he’d been hit in the head and possibly had a concusssion and was on his way to the emergency room. It was a very long drive back to get him and one I vowed I would not repeat. So here I am with sons number 3 and 4 at the Holiday Inn, five miles down the road from camp and I’m so glad I came.

My nephews are here too and this morning the youngest got his glasses smashed. I was able to drive over, fix them, get him breakfast (he couldn’t see to go eat at the cafeteria) and get him to camp on time. His mother, of course, was a basket case when she called me and said, “He’ll never go that far away from home again without me!” I totally understand.

My sweet daughter Rachel came with me and she’s been a wonderful Assistant Mom. While I am working on this blog she took the boys back to camp and let me have a few hours down time. It’s been a busy three days. One of the twins has a sore ankle and I’ve been icing it for him, as well as giving him Tylenol. I’ve made so many trips from the hotel to camp and back that I think I could drive the route blind folded (don’t worry I won’t). Rachel and I have supervised swim time, meal time and fetched gatorades and candy bars. It’s been a blast but tomorrow it’s time to go home.

I know I won’t be as tired and sore as the boys are, and I know I’ve enjoyed camp more than they have because I just watched….they worked hard. Would I do it again…in a heart beat. My babies are juniors in high school this year. My oldest nephew is a senior. I hope we’ve made some memories this week that years from now they will remember fondly. I know I have.

A job where you get paid to do nothing…no, I am not kidding!

June 23, 2009

I am a teacher. I’m no longer in the classroom, but I was until February of this year. I say that because I want folks to know that even though I am a teacher I don’t agree with a lot of things that go on in education. We wouldn’t expect a doctor to agree with everything that goes on in the medical field, would we? But if that doctor was unqualified or did something wrong, we would expect consequences. Tell me why then 700 teachers in New York getting paid to do nothing?

If this isn’t evidence of how messed up unions and the tenure system is, I don’t know what is. The article is on Yahoo today so if you don’t believe me you can read it for yourself. These teachers are sent to rubber rooms and are there playing scrabble, painting, or surfing the web. Some of them have been doing this for years. Unbelievable!

I don’t know whether or not these teachers are really unfit for the classroom but here is something I do know….tenure for anyone in any job is ridiculous. I can’t help but think that the rest of the working world looks at the teaching profession and wonders how we get away with this because they would like to have the same archaic system.

All over America people are losing there jobs and I sympathize with them. I have friends and family in this position and it’s tough, but come on people….getting paid to do nothing?  I know it’s wrong to criticize until we walk a mile in someone elses shoes (or sit with them in a rubber room) but I don’t see how anyone can keep taking a pay check for doing absolutely nothing.

If tax payers in New York aren’t outraged and motivated to do something about this, then shame on them. It’s time someone somewhere stood up and took teacher’s unions to task. They are an embarrassment to an honorable profession.


June 19, 2009

dogs.jpgI always thought it was fun to spell Mississippi, so many repeat letters, I guess. It’s definitely more fun to spell it than it is to drive there. We just got back from taking the twins to ball camp at MSU and other than the long drive, we had a great time. I told my Facebook friends that the s’s in Mississippi stood for steam, sauna, sizzle and sweat. To which one of my friend’s replied, “Well then the “t” in Kentucky must stand for “take cover” and “Tornado.” Truthfully there isn’t much difference in the temperature there and here. It was in the high 90’s there and the same is true here as well.

The ball camp was intense. I went to one session and felt extremely guilty for sitting on my rear while the boys were working so hard sweat was spraying (there’s another s word) off them. There were about 25 boys at the camp and even though it just lasted one and a half days it was non-stop. The boys enjoyed it and really liked Coach Stansbury, as well as his assistant coaches. They came home tired, sore and a little less naive about what playing at the next level of basketball would be like.

As for me, my favorite things about the trip were watching the boys get a step closer to their dream. Watching their dad watch his boys. Hanging out at the pool with a good book. Eating at Ruby Tuesdays (yes I had cheese cake) and having the boys all to myself in a car for a long road trip. There are advantages to long distance trips with teenagers. They can’t escape your presence in a car!