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Come sit with me on the porch. We'll sip lemonade and talk. . .
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Welcome to my porch! Come on up and sit down with me a while. You can join me in the swing or have a seat in one of the rockers. There's lemonade and Granny's Tea Cakes on the little round table by the screen door. Pour yourself a glass, take some tea cakes, and let's visit awhile. *Smile*

I've reached that stage of life where I reminisce a lot about my childhood and young adult years. Some of my best memories are of the porch swing at the little house my dad and his brother built with their own hands about five children before me. We moved from that house when I was twelve, but there were other swings and other porches to enjoy. I've been encouraged to create a daily journal--I guess it's all the rage these days. Goodness knows, I do love to talk, so I guess this might be a good thing. I can't tell you just what you may find here on any given day. You know how it is when you're on the porch. A lot depends on the weather. I can tell you this. I plan for it to be a fun place to visit, because I'm in the mood for some fun!
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February 14, 2014 at 11:52am
February 14, 2014 at 11:52am
#807073
It's time to travel back in time to the early 1960's. I was nine years old when The Beatles came to America and changed American music forever, not to mention American hair cuts. I remember seeing them of The Ed Sullivan Show that night and being amazed by their music and by the way they looked. I couldn't imagine why anyone would wear their hair so long. LOL. Looking back, it's hilarious that their haircuts seemed to be so long. It was also the first time I had heard anyone sing with a British accent. I was mesmerized. They remain my favorite band to this day. They had that special magic that happens when the right people find each other and create a unique style of music that takes the world by storm.

I watched on TV the other night as many singers honored their fiftieth anniversary of coming to America by singing their own renditions of Beatles songs. Then, my heart beat fast as Paul McCartney (my favorite) stood on stage and performed several of my favorites. Ringo sang some also, and then they sang together. I loved all the old songs, but I have to admit I was longing to hear one of my favorites, "Hey, Jude," which Paul finally sang while playing the piano. It was a perfect performance.

I missed John Lennon, though, and George Harrison. What an awesome performance that would have been to have all four of the Fab Four back together again! It was a wonderful trip down memory lane, though, and I'm glad I got to experience it.

Do you have a favorite band or singer who changed your view of music forever?

February 13, 2014 at 11:04am
February 13, 2014 at 11:04am
#806972
The predicted ice and snow storm just grazed us and mostly pelted counties north of us all the way to the northern Alabama border. We were dismissed early from work and made it safe and sound to our homes before the slushy stuff began to fall. Temperatures in our area barely dropped below freezing and quickly warmed up when the sun came out, so all is back to normal in our area. That's not so of the northern counties. Still, I don't think it's as bad for them as the winter storm that hit Alabama and other Southern states two weeks ago.

It's like I say, though. If I wanted to live with snow all the time I'd move North. I prefer Alabama, thank you very much. It's a good state to live in for many reasons, mild winters being one of them. We have our days and nights in the twenties and teens, but they are short-lived, and our mild weather returns shortly.

Have I convinced you to move here yet? Sylacauga is a nice small town. I moved there (from an even smaller hometown) when I married my husband twenty-five years ago, and I soon came to feel that it was my hometown too. I lived in Atlanta in my younger years. I loved living there, but I don't miss the busy, bustling highways and navigating the interstates to work every day. I'm comfy right where I am.

I do have some fond memories from Atlanta, though. Once we were snowed in (with lots of ice, to boot) for a whole week. My friend called me because he had cabin fever, and we stayed on the phone and watched the entire episode of Saturday Night Live "together." We laughed and commented on all the skits. Those were the Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, Steve Marten, Lilly Tomlin days—among other greats. What fun it was to watch a TV show over the phone!

Then, when the roads were barely passable, a group of us teachers met at our favorite Mexican restaurant and enjoyed each other's company after a long hiatus from social interaction.

Wow, my entry was wandered around today. I guess the snow brought up old, happy memories. I often wonder what makes a good blog. What can I write that would be at all interesting to others. I think some days are better than others. Still, my goal is to write every day, even if it's only for myself.

February 12, 2014 at 12:51pm
February 12, 2014 at 12:51pm
#806865
I'm on a roll with writing about my change of heart toward my husband's illness. It's been amazing to see what a difference it's made in the way I interact with my husband. I'm cheering him on and leaving encouraging notes every day. I've cut back a little on my list of tasks because I want him to feel the energy of being successful. I'm a lot more patient and content. What a difference such a small thing can make!

I'd love to hear from you out there about anything at all that you can relate to this story. I know others have experienced similar situations, even if the actual events are different.

I've had some small successes myself in the last couple of weeks. I set two goals. One is to write in my journal every day for 100 days. I'm on Day 10 of that goal. The other is to work a little every day on getting my house in order. I'm on Day 9 of that Goal. Woo-hoo! It feels really good to have achieved my goal thus far. *Bigsmile*

I'm cutting my writing short today because we are watching the weather for another winter storm. In Alabama, two winter storms in two weeks apart is almost unheard of. I hope they let us leave earlier this time. Last time I had to drive twenty-five miles at around 15 miles per hour. *Facepalm* And I was one of the lucky ones. I stayed out of the ditch, and I didn't get stranded on the interstates the way many people did in Birmingham. Thankfully, I live in a little town, and most of us made it home. Last time many adults were stranded away from home, and many children had to spend the night at school. This time it doesn't look like it will be that bad. Let's hope. *Smile*





Make punctuation work for YOU.
"Punctuation Inc.
at "New Horizons Academy

Click here to join me!

Green Pat made by Gervic
"Worrying doesn't take away tomorrow's TROUBLES; it takes away today's PEACE~"

Come sit with me on the porch.
We'll have a glass of lemonade and talk.

"On the Porch with Pat


February 11, 2014 at 10:36am
February 11, 2014 at 10:36am
#806706
The list on the whiteboard was a big hit with my husband. I had put a smiley on it yesterday. Today, I put a heart on in with "J" and "P" on it. That made him smile. He was a different, happier person when I got home from work. He was so proud of himself for his accomplishments. Although the list was not done perfectly, I really bragged on what he had done. I've got to build him up if he is to feel better about himself. That will give him more energy and a brighter outlook. It will also make me happier.

The list has had a positive effect on me as well. It's helping me set realistic goals for him, and it's helping me focus on what will make him healthier and happier. I don't moan and groan about what I wish he had done while I was at work I'm just happy that he feels good about his day. What a difference a little change of heart makes.

Can you think of examples of when your attitude or perspective changed, and you saw something in a completely different way? It could be positive or negative, but it's so much more productive to think of a positive example. How did the change of heart come about? How did it affect your actions? Did it change the way you interacted with another person?

I'd love to hear about your own experiences with this. *Bigsmile* There are no wrong answers!
February 10, 2014 at 2:23pm
February 10, 2014 at 2:23pm
#806554
As a result of my change of attitude mentioned in the previous blog, I decided to make a list for my husband to help him through the day. I bought a white board (the kind you write on with a dry erase marker) and wrote down his daily schedule. At the top I put the day of the week and the day of the month so he won't be confused about what day it is.

Next I started the list with taking his meds and getting a shower. Unfortunately, I have had to remind him to get a daily shower since his illness 18 months ago. I went on to list a few small chores for him, a morning and afternoon walk, and bedtime meds. I explained to him that I wanted him to be healthier and happier and that I thought this list would help him. He was actually very positive about it and saw it as an act of love on my part.

He decided today to write the time each task was completed out beside it so he wouldn't forget whether or not he had done it. This was a great surprise for me, and I really bragged on him for thinking of it.

I feel so good about that white board. I hope it makes a difference in his day and in his mood. He needs a little joy in his life. He needs to feel worthwhile and needed. This way, he will have a few manageable tasks without feeling overwhelmed by everything he thinks he should be doing. He always feels so defeated because he puts too much pressure on himself.

I'm hopeful that I'll see a brighter look on my husband's face, a more cheerful outlook on life, and an improvement in his mobility. I'll keep you posted on these things. If any of you have loved ones who need your help to get through the regular routines of the day, maybe this blog will encourage you and let you know you're not alone.

February 9, 2014 at 4:58pm
February 9, 2014 at 4:58pm
#806460
I had a delightful time at the Ladies' Retreat. I am spiritually uplifted and my mind is refreshed and in a relaxed and positive mood. I think it did me a world of good, which shows how important it is to take a day or two now an d then to revitalize yourself, physically, spiritually, and mentally. I'm a better person for attending the retreat.

The topic of all the lessons was the importance of giving of ourselves and our talents. It helped me re-frame my thoughts and attitude about my husband's disability. I had really felt disappointed and really a bit angry that I no longer have the husband I had 18 months ago. I'm now left with making all the decisions, doing all the driving, all the housework, all the discipline and managing of our sixteen-year-old. I'm even in charge of my husband's health. I have to be sure he takes his medicine, remind him daily to take a bath (and put on clean clothes), and push him to take daily walks. This is all in addition to working a full-time job, which includes an hour commute (round trip).

I haven't been as gracious about that as I wish I had been, but I think things are going to change now. I'm looking at my husband as a person with a disability, not as my husband who no longer helps me with things. That may not make sense, but it's the only way I can explain it. Instead of thinking about what I've lost, I'm thinking about what he has lost. I love my husband and want to be faithful (loyal) to him until death parts us. In order to keep my vow, I need to change my attitude and, out of love, treat him as the one who has given up so much of his life.

I hope my actions will mirror that change perspective. It's difficult with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but right now I have my daughter and her husband here to help me.

I'm sorry I missed writing in my journal yesterday, but the retreat was so worth it. After I got home, I had a million errands to run, and I simply couldn't sit down and write about how much I enjoyed the retreat.

To leave you with a little something to think about, I'm asking each of you to think about your own attitudes. Is there something in your life that needs an attitude adjustment--some resentment, some grudge, some past hurt, some present aggravation? You can't change other people. You can only change yourself and your attitude. I hope to share with you my progress with this commitment.




Make punctuation work for YOU.
"Punctuation Inc.
at "New Horizons Academy

Click here to join me!

Green Pat made by Gervic
"Worrying doesn't take away tomorrow's TROUBLES; it takes away today's PEACE~"

Come sit with me on the porch.
We'll have a glass of lemonade and talk.

"On the Porch with Pat







Make punctuation work for YOU.
"Punctuation Inc.
at "New Horizons Academy

Click here to join me!

Green Pat made by Gervic
"Worrying doesn't take away tomorrow's TROUBLES; it takes away today's PEACE~"

Come sit with me on the porch.
We'll have a glass of lemonade and talk.

"On the Porch with Pat


February 7, 2014 at 11:14am
February 7, 2014 at 11:14am
#806183
Yea! I'm so excited. I've been preparing all week for a Ladies' Retreat with some of my friends from church. It's a long-standing tradition, and I almost never miss it. We travel way back in the boonies to a Lake House that belongs to one of the ladies. It's right on the lake and has an awesome view. She has lots of spaces for us to sleep—about five or six bedrooms, plus three couches. Some sleep on the floor. They don't mind. It's all fun.

We carry our own supper—I usually just get something from Subway. Then we ladies bring breakfast casseroles and other items for breakfast. The lunch menu always includes Potato Soup and either chili or taco soup. Like I said, it's part of the tradition. Don't even imagine that we would leave out snacks and goodies.

But all that is icing on the cake. We always study from a carefully chosen book that's grounded in the Bible. Each of us chooses a chapter to teach. It's a warm, friendly atmostphere, very causual. We laugh, tell stories, and have a lot of fun mixed in with the lessons. It's spriritually uplifting and revitalizes us mentally. I come away from the weekend with a fresh start on life, ready, once again, to roll with the punches.

It's a lot of work packing bed clothes and pillows as well as the normal things you would pack for an overnight stay, but it is so worth it! We carpool there, so our stuff is always scrunched in which ever van I happen to be riding in. With my eyesight, I'd never attempt to drivie those long winding roads to her lake house. I'm thankful for good friends who welcome others to ride with them. The long ride down there is half the fun. We catch up with each other and laugh a lot.

Traditions have a funny way of making our lives richer, don't you think? They don't have to be holiday traditions. You can make almost anything a tradition. Traditions stand out in our minds, and the memories last a lifetime, literally. Many childhood memories fade with time, but family traditions stay with us. The same is true with other traditions in our lives. They place value on the activity. They rank high in your memory cache. A tradition finds a snug place to live for a long, long time.

So, wish me luck that I'm taking enough covers to keep me warm. It's always especially nippy on the lake. I hope to see you Saturday, but Sunday for sure. *Bigsmile* *Left* That's my excited face!
February 6, 2014 at 1:39pm
February 6, 2014 at 1:39pm
#806067
As you know from my previous two entries, I've joined the "Give It 100! group. It's helping me stay encouraged and motivated to acheive a couple of important goals I've set for myself. I've commited to writing in my journal every day. This keeps my creativity flowing and my mind active. The second goal is quite different.

My husband has been disabled for the last eighteen months, and I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Because of this, we've really let our house get in a big mess. Neither of us are putting away things like we should, though my husband is far worse about that than I am. We're both pack rats, but I will throw something away, and he'll go back and get it out of the trashcan!

You may also know that I struggle with depression. Looking at a huge pile of stuff is overwhelming, so we both just throw our hands up and say, "What the heck!" Until now, that is. I decided that, even with my RA, I can work fifteen minutes a day to get my house in order. It will be a slow process, but it will be progress. I'm determined to work on it even if it's 10:00 p.m. before I can do it. Inevitably, my reluctant husband joins in with me, so we get more done.

For me, the key is setting a goal I could realistically manage. If I can work longer than fifteen minutes, that's icing on the cake, but I'm bound to work at least fifteen minutes.

I take ten-second videos of our progress, which makes it more exciting. I have proof positive that I am moving forward with both goals. I get encouragement from the members of the WDC group and from the members of the web site. It really does motivate me to push a little extra to make my goal.

These are all key elements of successful goal setting.
1. Make the goals realistic and doable. Concentrate only on the current goal(s).
2. Take pictures or videos to help you see the progress. (Or make a chart or graph.) This really is a motivator.
3. Seek encouragement from others. Let them know what you're aiming for so they can cheer you on. This adds enthusiasm to your project!
4. Commit yourself to keep the promise you made to yourself and others This adds integrity to your character.

Okay, I've written about this topic for three days. I promise to move on to something new tomorrow! Stay tuned.

February 5, 2014 at 10:07am
February 5, 2014 at 10:07am
#805899
I like this idea so much that I was inspired by another member to take on a second goal. I decided to spend at least fifteen minutes a day getting my house in order, more on the weekends. I work full-time and deal with rheumatoid arthritis, so it will be a slow process. My husband has been disabled for about eighteen months, so things have really piled up on us.

But it's time to stop waiting for the organizing fairy to clean up our mess. Together, we're going to make a little progress each day for 100 days. This is an exciting motivator. I find that the ten-second videos are a big part of the motivation. I know I'm going to have to show evdience of the progress, and it pushes me to make my goal, even at the end of a very long day. And the video could not be easier to upload from my phone. It allows me more time to work on my projects rather than spending a lot of time reporting my progress.

My husband thought I was a little looney when I went into our bedroom at 9:00 p.m. (his bedtime) and announced I was going to spend at least fifteen minutes cleaning up. He couldn't resist helping, which was part of my tactic. Then, normally shy of making a talking video in front of others, I boldly video taped the progress. I simply informed him that it was part of a commitment I had made and that the video was necessary. He didn't say anything, to my relief.

It's been fun and challenging finding a way to say enough about the progress and stay within the ten-second limit. It's like in our writing. We have to say the most with the fewest, most descriptive words.

If you have a goal—any goal—that you're ready to take seriously, join our WDC group "Give It 100!, where you will learn more about the actual website that host this project. It's really neat!

By the way, in our WDC group, we are rewarded for meeting our goals. We need donations to make that happen. If anyone's interested in sponsoring me, just click on the link above or the image below and post it in the forum. I am in need of sponsors at this point. *Smile* *Heart* *Kiss*
February 4, 2014 at 10:31am
February 4, 2014 at 10:31am
#805775
I enjoy sharing memories from my childhood back in the fifties and sixties, though I know it makes me a relic to many of the writers I know here at Writing.com. Still, the joy is in the telling, and if somoene else can take some pleasure from them, all the better.

Today, however, I will write about a newfangled gimmick for helping people set and reach their goals. It's called Give It 100. The WDC group link is "Give It 100!. There you will be given instructions on how to sign up with the web site https://giveit100.com. It's a group and a site made for helping people set and reach all kinds of goals. You set your own goal of what you want to do every day for the next 100 days. You have actually two groups of members who support you and encourage you.

So, my goal is to write in my journal (or blog) every day for 100 days. Today is my second day. I've already received encouragement from several WDC friends and a few strangers I just met on the web site. It sounds like fun, right? So check it out. I would check out the WDC group first to get a little more information about how it works. Then set up your account on the web site and set your goal for the next 100 days. I'm hoping this will make blogging more interesting and add a little challenge to it.

I hope to see you there!

Pat
February 3, 2014 at 1:56pm
February 3, 2014 at 1:56pm
#805657
It's been quite a while since I wrote in my journal (or blog). I've set a goal to start back writing on a regular basis. There are so many stories to tell, and I do love telling them. Today's story takes us back to the late fifties and early sixties. We lived in a rural area of Central Alabama. Life was so much simpler then. As children, we could take pleasure in the smallest of treats. We didn't have much money, and there were six of us children, so we rarely had a soft drink in our house. Mama would make sure we had some if we were sick. For some reason, that was supposed to stave off dehydration. It did make me feel special, though. I felt comforted in knowing that Mama was taking good care of me.

The only other time I can remember us having soft drinks was when my dad would take a notion to go into town on Saturday night to get us all a Coke from the machine at the Washeteria. Saturday night was "Gunsmoke" night. We never missed an episode. Mama would sit down after a long day of laundry and housekeeping and watch her favorite show. Once in a blue moon, after the show was over, Daddy would announce, "Who wants to ride into town and get a Coke from the Washeteria?" That was a real treat. We'd all pile up in our Chervolet and head into town. We'd each get a 6 oz. bottle of Coke and bring one back for Mama. It's funny now to think back to that time and realize how important that small treat was. It's a memory that has lasted for over fifty years. I guess we had our family traditions, and that was one of them.

On Sunday evenings, after church, we would pile up in the living room and watch Mama's other favorite show—Bonanza. We never missed it, as far as I can remember. It would have taken a very serious reason to interrupt that tradition. Family traditions are so important. Something as simple as watching a favorite TV show can remain a fond memory for a lifetime. That was one time when we were all together in one room. Most other times we were spread out doing homework and chores. And there were plenty of chores for all of us. Even we two youngest children had chores that we were capable of performing. But that's a story for another day. Final Charge: Create your own family traditions. They don't all have to be holiday traditions. Little memories can have as much impact as big ones sometimes.
December 16, 2012 at 1:52pm
December 16, 2012 at 1:52pm
#768575
It's been a while since I wrote in my journal. I get so busy that I forget to make time to write. Today, I want to write about how exciting this site is. The Storymaster and Storymistress constantly add new features that keep me fascinated and wanting to do more and more. Yesterday, I received an e-mail notifying me that they had added a new feature. I am now able to upload my own preferred images as icons for my various folders and items. I had a lot of fun looking for images to go with the folders in my portfolio. I will probably continue working on adding images to the items in my port as well.

This is just a small example of all the features we have here a WDC. It seems like it gets better with each passing week. I sincerely hope they continue to be the successful and awesome web site that they are now. I can't imagine my life without Writing.com. I've made real friends here. They are not virtual friends as so many would label them. They are real people, and I care about them in a very real way.

This site keeps me busy with all the activities available. I've learned how to be a leader. What an awesome experience I've had leading "Invalid Item! Again, I have established so many friendships through leading SAJ. I teach "Punctuation Inc. at "New Horizons Academy . I thoroughly enjoy teaching and working with the students who come my way.

I love the writing and review process. I rely on the readers to help me develop my skills as a writer. I learn from reading their works. I've learned so much since I joined in 2008.

I've got to run, but I just felt like saying some nice things about this wonderful site I call my second home.

Make punctuation work for YOU.
"Punctuation Inc.
at "New Horizons Academy

Green Pat made by Gervic
"Worrying doesn't take away tomorrow's TROUBLES; it takes away today's PEACE~"

** Image ID #1876300 Unavailable **
Come sit with me on the porch.
We'll have a glass of lemonade and talk.

"On the Porch with Pat


http://www.fictionandverse.com

** Image ID #1875546 Unavailable **
June 12, 2012 at 1:49am
June 12, 2012 at 1:49am
#754715
There was a wonderful TV commercial back in the 70s, I guess. I think it may have been advertising children's aspirin or something. It showed mom caring for the young boy with a temperature. At the end, he's all smiles and headed out the door. I don't remember any other lines, but those last ones, delivered by an adorable little boy, are still etched in my memory: mothers are like that; yeah, they are.

I thought about those words at the end of this long, tiring day. "Some days are like that; yeah, they are." I overslept for no other reason than I didn't get up the first time my alarm went off, and it chose to not alarm again when I hit the snooze button. I hate having to call my supervisor and tell him I overslept. Why couldn't I have had a flat tire or have been held up by a train, which often happens in my small town?

I grabbed a Pop Tart and rushed to the office without a lunch. I was bombarded with phone calls the minute I walked into my office. I swear the clerk has a camera in the parking lot. I had no let-up until I left at 2:50 for a doctor's appointment. As I traveled to the doctor's office, a good half hour away, I started thinking about something that's been weighing heavily on my mind and decided, of all things, to call a WDC friend. I don't do that very often, for some reason. I couldn't begin to tell you how many WDC friends I have. A number of them are close enough that we exchange phone numbers "just in case" we need to contact each other in a hurry.

This time it was purely for support. This friend was glad to stop what he was doing and give me some guidance and encouragement about my burden. That really helped me through the rest of the day. It was a hard day even after I left work. I had twice the errands to run because my husband is out of town, but it is always a good day when you have friends who are there for you. WDC friends are real friends. They are not cyber friends or Internet friends. They are real to me, and I'm grateful for them.

It's warm on the porch tonight. The Southern nights are often warm this time of year. It's quiet and the crickets are chirping. Of course, these are only my imaginings since I no longer have a house with a porch swing. But I can remember, and memories are something we should all treasure.



*BurstR* *BurstR* Pat *BurstR* *BurstR*

Come sit with me on the porch.
We'll have a glass of lemonade and talk.

"On the Porch with Pat


Very cute for Fourth of July
June 3, 2012 at 7:38pm
June 3, 2012 at 7:38pm
#754075
Gosh, it's fun teaching punctuation at "New Horizons Academy . It's hard work, but you can't beat the feeling of having a class full of students eager to learn about punctuation. I throw some pretty tough material at them, so they are asked to work pretty hard. But we have a lot of fun too. I offer weekly challenges that give them extra practice on whatever topic we are studying. They are optional, but the students almost always complete them.

The forum is our classroom. Students are encouraged to step up to the chalkboard, crawl out on that limb and write something they're not even sure about. We learn, though, that mistakes aren't scary. They can POINT IT OUT FOR A POINT, which means if they find an error in my writing, they can point it out and get a POP point. Our mistakes are merely OTLs (Opportunities To Learn).

That classroom keeps me so busy that I barely have time to grade their assignments. How can I stay away when so much learning is waiting there for me to help them achieve? Nothing is "off topic" as long as it is E Rated. Their various conversations are just more opportunities for me to teach them grammar and punctuation. It's language, and we need language for there to be punctuation. What better way to learn it than by using our own words and conversations?

The best part is getting to know wonderful people and making new friends. If I listed them, the list would include every student I've had because each person impacted my life in some way. The first one on that list, though, would have to be Winnie Kay . Just before beginning as an instructor, I took Winnie's Comma Sense. That' a tough class, but it was one that I really needed to take. I was actually learning about comma placement, but at the same time I was learning about being a good teacher. I tried to be just like Winnie. Our teaching styles are very much alike, but with time, I have found my own little niche. I can honestly say that my style is definitely Patrician with a distinct Winnie flavor.

This really isn't meant as an advertisement for my class. I just spent this weekend grading assignments and working with my students in the classroom. I wanted to take a break; I needed to write in my blog, so there you go. Blogs are strange things. It's hard to write in a blog without thinking, "Who in the world cares about what's going on in my mind? They have their own full lives to deal with." Maybe the blog is for me. It just helps motivate me if I think someone out there might enjoy it for some strange reason. *Wink*

May 28, 2012 at 8:40pm
May 28, 2012 at 8:40pm
#753680
Someone commented on a previous entry, thus bringing me to the porch tonight. I saw that my last entry promised the story of my first TV addiction. I don't even know how I got by with it. We had one TV. In rural Alabama in the 60's, having two TVs was a ridiculous thing to contemplate. One TV meant that it was the family TV, meaning it was Mom and Dad's TV. We were blessed to have the opportunity to watch their shows along with them. Saturday night at 7:00 p.m., we watched Gunsmoke.

Once in a blue moon, my daddy would say, just before Gunsmoke came on, "Who wants to ride into town to get a coke at the Washateria?" That was the only place open that we could get a six-ounce bottled coke out of the machine for a nickel. It was the highlight of our week! Sunday night at 7:00 p.m., we watched Bonanza, accompanied by a big bowl of pop corn we passed around. Back then, it took great skill to cook pop corn. One had to heat the oil in a big pot. When it was just right, the pop corn went in, and the lid went on. One of the most important elements was shaking the pot at just the right intervals for maximum popped kernels.

The rest of the week it was "seniority rules". I was the fifth out of six children. What were my chances of choosing? My sister Mary Ann usually chose the coolest shows. She liked Hawaiian Eye and Seventy-seven Sunset Strip. The blond one, Kookie (pronounce cookie), was always combing his hair. They drove a convertible, which was a cool thing to anyone in rural Alabama in the 60's.

As my sisters went away to college or got married, I only had my older brother to keep me from holding seniority over my younger sister. Thankfully, he worked after school, went out with his buddies, and pretty much stayed out of my hair. Finally, I could choose, at least some of the time. A new show arrived on the scene. It came on Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. It was adventurous and imaginative and exciting! It was Star Trek. I watched it without fail—until one night in April that first season.

My Glee Club teacher had the audacity to schedule our Spring Concert on a Thursday night! What? How could she do this? There are six other nights in the week! Well, there are five if you don't count Sunday. In Alabama, Sunday ALWAYS counted. Still, the stupid concert could have been on Monday or Tuesday or Friday—any night but Thursday! Believe me; I had to really use all my willpower to go to that concert. I had to go. Mama made my matching dress (mine was green for the alto section), and I had a duet to sing. OK, Pat, get your priorities straight. You will get in big trouble for not going to the concert. That was the bottom line.

So I learned about setting priorities (sort of). I learned that life did go on without Star Trek. But the very next Thursday night at 7:00 p.m., I was on the couch, knees pulled up to my chest and bare feet on the couch, ready for that song to play. Of course, I sang along with it, but being an alto, I didn't do too well on those high notes. Maybe, that's a story for another evening on the porch. Please come visit often. I love remembering those wonderful times while I grew up on Hatchet Creek Hill.


A Lovely Gift:
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Gentle Warrior  (E)
A mother's struggle to find joy and peace for her adopted children. [Ode]
#1863385 by Winnie Kay

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Heart Flowers for SAJ by Brooke

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January 14, 2012 at 1:21pm
January 14, 2012 at 1:21pm
#744232
Well, Jace, I couldn't resist that challenge to draw you more into my porch pondering. By the way, I do remember those Batman episodes. Bam! Whop! Zing! What? We couldn't hear the sounds? This is TV, guys, not the funny papers. Oh well, my tastes were much different back then.

Back to learning, I always loved school. I loved learning so much that I gladly volunteered to help my classmates learn, too. It was no surprise that I went on to earn a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. I taught for sixteen years. I learned a lot from little children. There is nothing like them in the world. They just blurt out what they think without malice aforethought, so you can't hold it against them. "Ms. Pat, did you have a rough night? Your hair looks funny."
"Thanks, Jeb, I'm so glad you noticed." *Rolleyes*

I can't bring Jeb up without telling one of my all-time favorite teacher stories. One afternoon, I sat at my desk and stared at a huge stack of papers to grade. I was tired and it was Friday. I grabbed up a stack and started grading them. About halfway through, I found a note from Jeb, written on First Grade lined paper, that simply read, "I hope you have a good weekend, Ms. Pat."

Needless to say, I smiled through the rest of the stack.

That was when I lived in a suburb of Atlanta. I moved from my tiny little town in Alabama to discover what life was like outside the confines of our little hamlet. Living in Atlanta was a huge learning experience. I found that I could drive in a big city and live really on my own, as opposed to living in a trailer three miles from my parents. I grew up in Atlanta—well sorta. There was still much more learning to come.

My dad passed away in February of 1988. I didn't make it home from Atlanta to see him before he slipped into a comma. His death left a gaping hole that I didn't know what to do with. It was my first experience with losing someone so important to me. I learned how to grieve and how to move on. I moved back to Alabama to be near my mother. I taught a few more years, then my life took a different turn. I got a job with Child Support Enforcement for the State of Alabama. (Oh, yeah, I already mentioned that. Remember the new computer in the last entry?)

I enjoyed learning all about Child Support. My supervisors soon realized they needed to keep me occupied with learning new things. I have now been with the Child Support Unit eighteen years, and I am still looking for new things to learn. It's the thing that makes life work for me.

In April of 2008, I discovered the best thing since chocolate—Writing.com. Now, this is a place for people who love learning. After almost four years, I still discover new things all the time. Right now, I'm learning how to be a teacher of an online class. I'm teaching my first class of Punctuation Station. What a blast! I have a terrific class; we have fun together and we learn from each other. Like I said, this is the place to be if you enjoy learning new things. There's something new around every corner.

When I say that Writing.com has helped me keep my sanity, take my word for it. I'll have to say, "Stay tuned" for that episode. *Wink* By the way, I started this post because my darn reminder thing kept telling me it had been so many days since I wrote in my journal. Are you satisfied now, computer thingy? I promise to write more often. I have a million stories to tell, so stay tuned for more episodes in the many faceted life of Pat—Warrior Mom. (Oh, that's a completely different story for another day.)


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I Write From My Heart by Brooke Meridith


January 14, 2012 at 3:07am
January 14, 2012 at 3:07am
#744198
Over the last few years, I have discovered something about myself. What I enjoy about just about anything that brings me joy is the process of learning. I love learning something new. When we finally got Windows at work (as opposed to Big Box with Green Screen, aka terminal), I immediately was hooked! We bought us one for home. I studied everything I could find out about using Windows. I had all my co-workers asking me how to do this and where to find that. Even my supervisor discretely worked out a secret strategy for letting me teach her without making her look less supervisory to the other workers. Even after she was promoted to field supervisor, she would sneak a call to me every couple of months. "Pat, don't say a word about me calling you; I'm not supposed to call you guys now that I'm not over you any more. Pleeeeze tell me how to fix this or create that."

I still have documents that I created years ago before our State Office had finished preparing the official ones we needed. Co-workers still come to me and ask me to e-mail me a copy of this or that form. Why bother saving it, when you can always ask Pat?

This story really does have a point, but I believe it will be better made in the light of day. Please come back Saturday and see where this leads. *Smile*



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I Write From My Heart by Brooke Meridith


September 16, 2011 at 2:24pm
September 16, 2011 at 2:24pm
#734247
I first "met" Rixfarmgirl back when I was a regular judge for several contests. Later, I associated her name with New Horizons Academy and her classes, Grammar Garden and Punctuation Station. I was pleasantly surprised this summer when Karen asked me to teach Punctuation Station. I accepted and Rixy sent all her files to me, along with her sincere offer to help me in any way she could. Every few days, she'd run across a resource item that she thought I might need, and she would sent it to me. She wanted to be sure I had everything I needed to teach the class. I'm certain that she was equally interested in the students' success with the class as she was with my success.

I didn't have time to get to know her well. I looked forward to sending her pesky e-mails, asking her what to do about this or that. I know it was her intention to be there for me as I taught my first session of Punctuation Station. We only think we are in charge of our lives. God always has the final say. He loves us and wants what's best for us. Of that, I am sure.

Missy touched many lives while she lived here on earth. Her life was rich and full. She gave of herself to others, which is the only way to have a fulfilled life. Even after thirty-eight years as a teacher, she wasn't through teaching. She began teaching at New Horizons and touched the lives of countless students who walked through her classroom door. At the end of her life, she was still teaching Grammar Garden, and she was teaching me, too. She will be missed by many. I am not grieving for Missy, for she is where she was always meant to be. "This world is not my home. I'm just a-passing through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me to that eternal shore, and I can't feel at home in this world, anymore." (from a favorite hymn of mine)

My sorrow is for Missy's loved ones, who will feel an emptiness where she once was. This hole will not be filled, but time and many tears will heal the gaping wound so that the empty hole no longer aches with such intensity. The pain will slowly diminish but never disappear. A time will come when her loved ones can smile at fond memories and cherish the time they had with Missy.

"Dear Father, bless Missy's family. Give them a strong faith and the courage to put one foot in front of the other until they regain their strength to move forward with their lives."


"Be especially kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Gold Prize for Kiya's Blogging Contest--Team Chickadees
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August 30, 2011 at 5:54pm
August 30, 2011 at 5:54pm
#732816
I'm a little pressed for time today, but Karen's prompt immediately brought to mind a piece I wrote not long after I joined Writing.com. Though I'm sure I could think of other inanimate objects which have a special meaning to me, I'm not sure that any one of them would surpass the significance of this one, so I'm cheating a little in today's blog. I'd like to share this piece with you because, after all these years, the old iron bunkbed still represents a very special place in my heart. Due to job restraints and some physical limitations I am no longer able participate as a counselor during my husband's session. I miss it terribly, and I sometimes go down for the weekend before our session starts. My best friend and her husband usually come down from Tennessee, so it's "Girlfriend Time" for us. We lie on those old iron bunk beds and talk until the wee hours of the morning, and we never run out of things to talk about! She's one of those friends I describe in the piece I wrote. I hope you'll read and enjoy this little piece of prose. Hey, Karen, I did end up editing it. That almost always happens when I re-visit a piece, so the blog prompt did its job, after all. *Smile*

 The Old Iron Bunk Bed  (E)
A short piece about my favorite place on earth--Backwoods Christian Camp
#1417825 by Pat ~ starting a new journey


"Be especially kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

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August 20, 2011 at 11:07am
August 20, 2011 at 11:07am
#732048
Karen asked us to think about a favorite poem or story and tell why we like it and when or why we wrote it. This poem was the first to come to my mind, but I did my homework and reviewed several of my poems before deciding on this one. This is a great blog prompt, Karen, for so many reasons. It had me going back through my poems, enjoying them once again, and seeing how poetry has changed my life.

This truly is one of my favorite poems because it has a lot of meaning for me, and because it really is a good poem. It is a tribute to my favorite sister and the inspiration she is to me. It is also most significant because it is one of my first poems. I was 54 years old when I started writing. Who was I to think I could write poetry? I had always dreamed of writing poetry, but had no belief in my ability to do so at all. Poets write poetry, not first grade teachers, or child support enforcement workers.

Fortunately, my co-worker and good friend, SWPoet , told me about this wonderful web site she had found, and she thought I ought to join, too. I scoffed at the idea of joining a site for creative writing. She nudged me for several weeks; meanwhile, I began thinking about the poems my mother wrote and stuck away in an old book, afraid for anyone to find them. After she passed away, we dsiscovered them. Not many, but they were real poems. So, in honor of my mother, I joined Writing.com in April of 2008. The poem you see below is one that I wrote in July of 2008. I started out writing a few short poems. Though I felt completely foolish for posting them for everyone to see, I crawled out on that limb and did it. I was overwhelmed by the encouragement I received. It spurred me on to write more poetry. It was like I couldn't stop. I had all these poems in me that had been locked up inside for too long.

Obviously, some are better than others. I don't expect any of them to be published, but I am proud of them. They come from my heart, and when I read back over most of them, I smile with satisfaction that this 50+ year-old woman could create a thing of beauty. This community gave me the courage to call myself a poet. I learned from other poets, and I even began to feel the stirrings of some stories struggling to come out. I'm learning and practicing the skills of writing fiction. I have so many stories to write.

I hope you enjoy this Double Nonet I wrote for my dear, precious sister just three months after "becoming a poet." Since it's short, I thought it would be okay to post the entire poem. I have also included the bitem link as well. Hey, while you're there, check out some of my other creations! *Bigsmile*


She's A Rock

She’s a rock, shaped by weather and time.
She remains fixed amid the storms.
Loved ones cling to her against
the raging flood waters.
Beauty surrounds her.
Compassion is
her cloak, her
strength, a
shield.

Pain
stabs her,
engulfs her.
She chooses life.
She overcomes grief,
demonstrating her hope,
holding high her steadfast faith.
She remains fixed amid the storms.
She’s a rock, shaped by weather and time.


by Pat Nelson
July 15, 2008

She's A Rock   (E)
A Double Nonet dedicated to my sister, Mary Ann
#1450988 by Pat ~ starting a new journey



"Be especially kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
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