It was 1019 miles by car to Granddaddy's. Two really long days each way with few stretches of interstate highways, no air-conditioning, much less Sirius. Can we say "purgatory" for the three kids in the back seat?
Don't you love a church potluck dinner? Nobody cooks like the "church ladies"! Long before I ever heard of Golden Corral, my preschool hand was sneaking up to grab a culinary treat from the long stone tables in our tiny churchyard.
For the past few months I've been indulging in getting manicures. My technician, Miss Kim, amazes me. She is so efficient at making my nails look pretty; I love watching her! At the same time, she's answering the phone and cordially greeting customers.
Whether it's in the mall, Quik Trip, or the nail salon, I enjoy watching people. It blew me away to see Jesus at the nail salon just before Christmas.
For the first five years or so, after we moved "up north" holidays weren't exactly fun. No yard full of laughing cousins. No kitchen bubbling over with delicious smells and mama stories.
It was sad and lonesome.
Then a couple at our church invited us to spend Thanksgiving with them. That was the beginning.
To my very young eyes, there seemed to be trees everywhere in south Georgia. Tall, frothy, seemingly pencil-thin pine trees. Much shorter, scaly-trunked palm trees.
When the fam moved to Kansas, Daddy, Buddy (my older brother), and I went rambling in our new biome every chance we got. We seemed to frequently mourn the lack of trees.
Her name was Vicki Collins, and she lived across the street. I thought we'd be friends forever.
But, Kansas was a long way from Georgia, and back in the day, staying in touch meant writing letters. Sadly, after a couple of years, too many moves and too many miles eventually took their toll.
I don't like to think of myself as OCD. Organized or efficient sounds so much better. Rachael hit the nail on the head several years ago when she said, "Allie always has a reason or a plan."
One thing about having a plan, or list, is the gratification of crossing things off. It's only halfway through the summer and I can already cross off number one: read at least one fiction and non-fiction book. Woo-Hoo!
Our son-in-law, Brandon, and Rachael's stepson, Parker, are big Marvel Comic fans. Since Netflix is my BFF while spending time in the rehab room, checking out some of the movies seems to be a good way to learn about their interest.
I've only watched a few of the Marvel movies, but so far my favorite character is Agent Peggy Carter. Strong, positive character traits, and get a load of that terrific red lipstick! What's not to love?
Dear Reader, lately I've been reading more and more about the effect of our words. I know, not a new topic. But one thing has added to my thinking, and it's the effects of our words, good and not so good, on ourselves. Will you join me in digging a little deeper?
My first real job, back in the last century, was at K-Mart. Clerks were taught the acronym, "TYSAK", during orientation. "Thank You for Shopping at KMart!" It was so important to managers that every register had it on two stickers.
Pardon me while I rant for a minute.
Also back in the last century, Tom and I met in Sunday School. (Just call us Mr. and Mrs. BORING!) Our teacher was a retired school teacher, Mrs. Bengston. As a public school teacher, Mrs. Bengston taught "Deportment".
What do you think? Maybe we should add Deportment back into schools' curriculum. Don't worry, Dear Reader, I'm not advocating for a bunch of little Miss Prissy Britches, just a little more courtesy.
Growing up, we were taught to say "Yes, Mam" and "No, Mam", "Please", and "Thank you". No excuses for no manners. I thought I understood what a treasure courtesy is. These guys taught me that courtesy should be more than lip service.
Peter and Paul knew that courtesy and kindness are essential for spreading the gospel.
Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.
The group of middle school guys had made and been affected by a lot of mistakes and misunderstandings. Courtesy and kindness had been in short supply for them. Who was I to try and teach them deportment of all things? How could I possibly reach kids like Mario?
A very wise colleague at our alternative school told me that the most important commodity for our students was relationships. She also cautioned me that their radars could detect a "poser" at fifty feet.
These guys were my students for spring semester. Some days it was hard showing up, listening to stories that broke my heart, buying school lunches for hungry kids. My colleague's words echoed in my brain, mingled with TYSAK, and Mama's lessons in good manners.
Our relationship seemed to start when I really began paying attention. Once in a while, we learned about American History, including the Boston Tea Party.
My friend, Mario, was 15 and in 6th grade. Reading and writing? Not so much. But what an artist! Another colleague suggested that Mario's assessments be illustrations. Bingo!
And just look where that first step took us!
Dear Reader, please know this is not a criticism. I don't doubt your manners in the least. I'm preaching to myself. Not for my lack of courtesy TO others, but for not expecting courtesy FROM others for fear that they may not like me.
More and more I think perhaps the second best thing I can teach my granddaughters and students is the expectation of courtesy, given and received, in their daily lives. (The first is the saving grace of Jesus Christ.)
Hi, my name is Alice. A Way with Words is about sharing faith,
fun, & encouragement. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find a little something to take
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