Found Friday #17: A Sweet Photo Album

I mentioned in Wednesday’s post that I’d spent some time thinking on fond memories and my family.

I don’t have many photo albums in the house – most of those are with my parents – but I do have one, and I’d sort of forgotten about it until Wednesday.

I realize I spend a lot of time talking about my mother’s parents, but not so much about my father’s, and this album was a Mother’s Day gift from me to my paternal grandmother, Dorothy, back in 2001.

My dad’s parents both passed away much earlier in my life than my mom’s. My paternal grandfather, Porter, died when I was in the second grade. I don’t remember all that much about him, but the memories I do have are good ones.

I remember he always kept a little black comb in his shirt pocket, and he used to let me comb the whisps of hair on the sides of his head.

I remember drinking Mountain Dew floats with him in the two big recliners in their living room.

I remember his voice, barely, and that he wasn’t a tall man. Neither he nor my grandmother was particularly tall, actually. I guess that explains why I’m so short.

My paternal grandmother died when I was 21. My parents lived with her for the last years of her life, and I’m so glad now that I got to have that extra time with her, in her home, that’s now become my parents’ home.

My favorite picture in the album is this one.

That’s Grandma Dot teaching me to make biscuits. I’ve smeared flour on my cheeks to make it more “believable.” She’s trying not to laugh at me, kindly, and I’m smiling, because I think I’m very clever.

Happy moments like this one will live in my memory forever, I think. And on days like Wednesday, they keep me going.    

A Song for Today

I just have no words after what I’ve seen and heard in these last several hours.

As I often do in times of stress and fear and sadness, I’ve turned to my fond memories, and to my family, and to music. So I thought I’d share a video with all of you of my dad and me playing one of my favorite songs. I’ve not performed this one in public since my grandfather passed away in 2015. He was a WWII veteran, and a coal miner. I am proud to be a coal miner’s granddaughter.

It’s hard to get through this song without tears now that he’s gone. But today, his legacy of strength and perseverance, of hard work and grace in difficult times, and his belief in a strong, fair and free America has kept me going.

Wherever you are in the world, whatever you’re going through, or dealing with, or healing from, I hope this brings you just a few minutes of joy and peace and comfort, as it has for me. Tonight, I’m sending all of the love I can out into the universe.

I hope tomorrow is a better, brighter day.

Introducing: The Better Friendships Podcast!

I am so excited to share this announcement with all of you! I’ve been working on this project with a very good, very talented, very smart and fun and amazing friend since the summer, and tomorrow, it finally launches.

Here’s some information from our website on what it’s all about:

Have you ever struggled to stay connected to your friends? Have you had a friend breakup? On the other hand, have you ever met someone and just clicked immediately? Or enjoyed a years-long friendship that makes you feel whole?

Friendships are hard work, and research has shown that strong friendships make women happier, healthier, and more successful. But research – and our own personal experience – also indicates that many women struggle to make and keep close friends. We see depictions of mean girls on TV and in movies, we read about toxic female friendships in some of today’s most popular fiction, and there are countless self-help books dedicated to building and maintaining friendships. (We’ve read lots of them.)

Clearly, friendship is important to women, and we believe that all women deserve positive, supportive friendships that enrich their lives and raise them up. We believe in better friendships! And we want to help you build them. Join us every other Tuesday for Better Friendships.

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, or if you know someone who would be, then please tune in tomorrow, January 5th, for the very first episode of Better Friendships! You can find us on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. In the meantime, check out our website, our Facebook page, and find us on Instagram  at @better_friendships.

Let’s be friends, y’all!

The New Year (A Poem)

The cold moon ushers in the New Year –
full of promise,
flanked by worry and doubt and fear,
but new nonetheless, and fresh and free.
May we all see dreams made real,
time and touch and love,
and may we be happy.
May we take this year and make it
what we want and need,
and may we do what we can do.
May we happen,
and not get happened to.
The New Year opens the door.
May we all walk through.