Thursday, December 31, 2009

Going Back in Time

We arrived in Shreveport, Louisiana this morning. Vacation #2.

Shreveport is where it began - the life of Riley & Sharon as one. We met here, eloped to Marshall, Texas on the 27th of July 1971, informed my parents that evening we had gotten married and 38 years later we are back.

A few side notes before the story.

First - eloping may seem very romantic and I suppose at that time it was. I have been a parent for many years now - and I can imagine what my parents went through that night.

Second - Riley & I did renew our vows - in church - the full wedding bit - 25 years later. Dad got to walk a daughter down the aisle for the very first time.

Third - I recommend number 2 all in all. A marriage is an event to be shared with family and friends. It's a celebration of love, commitment and proclaiming to the world - this is it.

Coming back evokes quite a few feelings. One of which startles me - I remember so little. We took a drive to Barksdale Air Force Base. At the tender age of 19, I was still living with my parents and dad was stationed at the base. We drove through base housing and darn if I couldn't remember the name of the street where we lived. We drove around the vicinity of the base ... still not much of a memory going on there either.

On the other hand, Riley remembers much. He was a jogger - oh yes, my my. It was his legs that got to me first. He would jog from Bossier Base to Barksdale on a regular basis - 7 miles all in all. Have to say - he still has great legs. We drove along that part of the route he took.

Everything here is different. More highways - more shopping strips - more everything. We ate at a small place called "George's" (funny thing - there's a George's in Dayton we frequent) - they have been in business for over 40 years. Did we eat here 38 years ago? No. The greasy spoon restaurant we frequented on Saturday mornings is no more. Riley worked 3rd shift at a newspaper plant, setting type. I worked at a Credit Union. Saturday mornings around 1am we would be eating breakfast together - always at "our place". Sometimes afterwards we would go to the airport and watch the planes take off & land. With security as it is, that is not even a possibility anymore.

Times change.

I am glad we are here. I know we are tremendously blessed to be able to take this trip. I am looking forward to the next 7 days with my dearest friend & husband, Riley. I look forward to taking photos of our adventure.

Oh yes - the photo. This is the old Shreveport bridge heading into Shreveport from the Dixie Inn. Do I remember this bridge? Not a bit. But I rather liked the photo, so there you go.

In the meantime, I quilt.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Art of Simply Doing.....

Today is the 24th of Christmas....better known as Christmas Eve....even better known as the day before Happy Birthday, Jesus.

You know how you get a small little niggle in the back of your mind that just stays there quietly until it's time to be recognized? I know your answer is I will share my little niggle.

For years, it would upset me when a simple "thanks" was not received in response to giving a gift. Horrifyingly (isn't that a lovely word!), it was just "upset" - it was full blown anger. Thoughts would ramble through my head that went something like this.... "what does it take to pick up the phone to say thank you...." or "for gosh sakes, all it takes is a piece of paper and pen and an envelope and stamp to simply write in block letters THANK YOU".... or..... on second thought, the 3rd rambling is to be kept private. I'm even ashamed of that particular rambling thought.

Now on to the niggle.

Why buy anyone anything? Why do I do it? Why do I drive through hail, rain, sleet or snow to get that perfect gift? Why? Why? WHY???? This can easily be accompanied by the picture of me falling to my knees in anguish, with arms lifted up to the sky and chanting these words. One must have a complete picture of this event.... Are you picturing it now?

And then....sometimes, a word of thanks is not received.

Very annoying, this little niggle. It grew - and grew - and grew - and finally, it blew into a big picture.

We do it for the thanks. We do it for the adoration. We do it because we just know we have elevated ourselves to be something special to that individual.

Wrong - wrong and more wrong.

When we do it for the thanks - it has lost its meaning. Pure.And.Simple.

Don't get me wrong....saying thank you are two lovely words to utter. But to withhold future gifts because we didn't get a thanks is wrong.

Black & white - gray areas not allowed.

One path to God - pure and simple
Give a gift to someone just because is good - pure and simple
Give a gift anonymously is even better - pure and simple

No longer will not hearing 'thanks' or receiving a written 'thanks' dictate what I do or not do in the future.

God is pleased - his Son is pleased and the Holy Spirit is dancing for joy.

I got it.

Oh yes - the gift of time. That's what the photo above is all about. That's our darling grandson whom his parents have entrusted this scatterbrained woman to spend time with - and of Riley, my dearest beloved husband. The results of the chess game were not shared.

Sadly I have lost most of my quilting photos when my laptop crashed.

Ah - but I still quilt!