Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Bike

This Christmas Vanita and Blaine Lee's families surprised me with a new bike. I have been wanting a plain bike to ride on country roads. My wish list included: no hand breaks, because I am old school and ended up pedaling backwards and running into things or flipping over on my head; no multiple gears because anyone who knows me knows I do not like anything mathematical, and I do not know whether to shift up or down to climb a hill; and most importantly, no skinny little seat that does not begin accommodate my ample derriere. Somehow, they found a Hornet royal blue La Jolla Women's Cruiser that fit my wish list perfectly! They got it into my utility room without me knowing about it. When I saw it, of course, I squealed with delight. I jumped on it and rode it through my kitchen. Later that night, I realized it is my first new bike. As the baby of four children, I always rode my sister and brother's bikes. Janie had a nice green one, and Clayton's was red. I never thought about it until Christmas night, when I experienced the thrill of receiving the gift of a shiny new bicycle. Now I am seriously considering tricking it out with a wicker basket for the front and maybe a horn for fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Memories of a Friend

To my lifelong friend, Kathy Marlene,
This is your birthday poem from Judy Coleen,
A lifetime of memories and love we share,
We have always been quite the pair!
We never whined, “We’re bored; we have nothing to do.”
We loved playing dress up, wearing your mother’s red shoes.
And remember getting lost in the woods, playing pioneers?
The times we shared all of our secret hopes and fears,
Comprehending feelings and thoughts with just a glance
Remember the “sock-hops” and the Sadie Hawkins dance?
And the summer we sang at the Atlanta Homecoming talent show,
I sang high and you sang low.
Sometimes we laughed, often we cried,
My true feelings from you I never had to hide.
As “mature women” by others we may be seen,
But when I am with you, I feel about sixteen.
Even though we may only see each other once a year,
I find comfort in knowing that for me, you will always be there.
You are tucked away in my heart and mind,
Our lives are destined to be forever intertwined.
Love you always,
Judy Coleen

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I have made a vow to exercise this summer. I walked every day last summer with some success, then, during the school year, I fell into my old bad habits, one of which was eating school lunch. I like the school lunches. We have a lunch lady who makes homemade hot rolls that are excellent. Homemade desserts, like cookies and apple crisp are also on the menu. So, during the school year I quit walking and ate school lunch, and snacked too much in the evening and gained back the weight I had lost.

This summer, I decided to get back in shape. I have embarked on a varied exercise regimen. I walk, ride a recumbent exercise bike, do yoga for flexibility. Yesterday, I even did a “Dancing with the Stars” video, even though those skinny girls in the video who slink around like a cat when they walk made me feel a little inferior. I cha-chaed and rumbaed and even jazzed danced a little. Today I got out the stability ball and exercised with Denise Austin. ‘This is fun!’ I thought as I rotated back and forth on the ball. ‘Why haven’t I been doing this every day?'

Then I went a little too far to the left, and the darn thing bucked me off! I fell to the floor and couldn’t even stop myself! My hip and my pride were both a little bruised, but I was taught to get back on the horse, so I did. Tomorrow I am going to baby sit the three youngest grandchildren. I think for my weightlifting, I will lift little Megan up out of her bed; my core abdominal work will be to rock her in the rocking chair. For aerobics, I might push Jaron off on his bike as he is learning to ride, and run a few steps beside him. I will use my leg muscles to push the swing back and forth in the yard as Madison and I read a book. It sounds like an excellent workout to me!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Take Time to Play

Grandchildren give me permission to play. When Lance and Logan were younger, we went exploring along the creek or in the woods. Logan said, “Ma, you are the only grown up I know who likes to explore.” I took that as a high compliment. Although I have never been very good at sports, I play “Around the World” shooting the basketball with Matthew and Lance. Occasionally, I even win. We often go fishing with Grandpa.

Last summer Taylor came over, and we canned green beans and made dill pickles. Maybe you wouldn’t think canning is playing, but with a buddy, it can be. She said, “I didn’t know cucumbers turned into pickles,” as she carefully cut the slices and spears. It was fun to teach her a disappearing skill, and she said, “Mom and Blaine are going to be so proud of me for making all of this food!”

One of my favorite playtime activities is to blow bubbles, so there is a supply waiting for those days when the grandkids come over. While I would prefer the beautiful multi-colored bubbles float as high and far as possible, Madison wants to ride through them on her bike, and Jaron wants to whack them with his bubble-wand sword. I just smile and let them have fun. At least they are letting me blow the bubbles. We go for walks; we go to the playground and pretend to be princesses and princes in the tower. We have tea parties on the front porch. We play with Barbies. We ride bikes. They swim in the hot tub, even though I tell them it is for relaxing, not swimming.
With little Megan, the only playing I do so far is to coo at her and rock her. Then I claim someone else must have spoiled her, because she likes to be talked to and rocked so much.
At the end of the day, I am worn out. Playing is more exhausting at my age than it used to be…but it is still fun. I challenge you to play today with a child, or if you do not have one handy, buy some bubbles, blow them into the wind and watch them float away. I learned from my own children that is how quickly childhood floats away. Take the time to play with them while you can.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What's In a Name?

I have to share two precious grandchildren stories about names. One day I called Jaron, my 4-year-old grandson, Sweetie Pie. He frowned at me and said, "I'm not a pie! Just call me Sweetie." My second story happened with Madison (6) as we were going to Macon recently. She asked if it was hard for me to leave my parents when I moved out. I answered, "No, because I was in love with Grandpa, and I wanted to live with him." She hesitated a moment, then said, "You don't have to call him Grandpa, you can call him Blaine."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Something to Cry About

I am told when I was a baby I would cry in my baby bed, and then stop when Mom picked me up. My father was not going to put up with that, so when he came in from working in the field one day, he smacked me with his straw hat every time I cried. I would stop from the surprise, and I was cured of crying for attention. Later in life, I remember a July 4th celebration (my friend Kathy was there) and a fire cracker went off in my hand. I blubbered self-righteously until Daddy threatened to “give me something to cry about” if I didn’t stop. Now, I do not feel I was abused one bit, because I never remember getting a spanking in my life. Daddy would just look at me, and I would stop whatever I was doing! One would think, therefore, that I would have learned not to cry, but I cry very easily. I cry at sad movies and AT&T commercials where they phone home to their mothers. I cry when someone else is crying, just in sympathy. My dad is 91 years old. I cried when I left him in the assisted care unit of the nursing home, even though he asked to go, and he likes the regular meals, care, and socialization.
Daddy called me today. He said he didn’t want to bother me, but I told him to call me anytime, and that I was glad that he called. He said, “Thanks a whole big bunch. Bye.” I heard his voice choke with tears.

I guess I gave him “something to cry about.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My First Blog

My daughter, Valerie, began blogging and told me I should do it, too. "But I don't want everyone to know what I am thinking," I told her. Then I began reading her blogs, and I loved them. I think she is an excellent writer. Wonderful connections came about because of her writing. Valerie was able to share her feelings about motherhood with her dear friend Tabitha. She also found my lifelong best friend's daughters and began to know them through their shared experiences. The final push was when my aforementioned best friend, Kathy, began blogging. I read her entries and love feeling reconnected. I remember following Kathy into the first grade room to sign up for school. This was the time before we had kindergarten. We received balloons and mine popped. I remember a slight disagreement in which Kathy said it "burst" and I said it "busted". We always did love words! Then we wrote stories together in grade school and high school. After we married we did freelance writing and wrote letters to each other (before the days of e-mail). So here I am, following Kathy into the blogging world. Thanks, Kathy Marlene, and thanks to Valerie, who encouraged me and helped me set up my account.