November 22, 2012

A Thankful Note~

Thanksgiving Day at the Harrison House in South Alabama-5 a.m. when the alarm sounded-It was painful. I went straight to the kitchen to set the oven & turn on the flame to perk the coffee. Yes, I said "perk" the coffee. I am back to perking coffee again. At this early hour I was having serious self doubting moments-doubting my sanity for setting this plan in motion and doubting my physical ability to get it done.  No, I am not THE COOK today. I'm only a 'contributor'..preparing two  simple dishes to pitch in with the others at our [newest] daughter in law's Thanksgiving gathering .  She and our [oldest] son have only been married a year and it was her choice to have everyone for this feast of food day.

At almost 7 a.m. I smell the southern cornbread dressing  in my oven since 5:30 a.m. I'm wondering if I can possibly wait for Brunch with part of our family around 10-10:30.

I know my blog readers/followers are working with a list, a schedule with 'things to do' and 'places to be' so I will keep this early Turkey Day post short and sweet.

For those who may be wondering how we are managing to be Thankful in this season of Thankfulness...relax, that is not an issue.

I cannot be less than thankful...after all I serve a Savior who died for me and that same God placed a sweetheart for life  alongside me who has faithfully without wavering devoted himself to me and our children  for more than 53 years. 
For many years as I pray I ask God to keep my heart tender..and thankful. I truly believe If I have that tender, thankful heart  the Holy spirit will always be able to reach me breaking through any self imposed distance or coldness I might be dealing with. 
For this special day I pray for each of you much joy, many loved ones around you and a heart full of peace, compassion and thankfulness.  Enjoy-Let's not  waste a minute of this day God has given us.

                                          Looking Forward ~

November 12, 2012

What Does H O M E Feel Like?

This weekend I had a long and wonderful telephone conversation with a dear, special lady from my PHS Class of 1959.  It was sweet and thoughtful of her to call, inquiring about our personal situation, as we deal with a significant health issue.
After Bonnie and I talked for an easy half hour- I  began to think about my feelings  about GOING HOME. 

  • My south Georgia cousins are now scattered, not many actually live in the area I now refer to as Home Some long for connection and contact; Others don't seem to have the same need
  • My 'back Home' is rural south Georgia.
  • Home is recognizing twists and turns in the country roads, recalling who lived there & things that happened here.
  • Home feels like Good memories, Sad Memories and snapshots in time all filed away in our personal memory banks
  • Home feels like being remembered
  • Home feels like being accepted, Valued, Appreciated, even Treasured
  • Home feels like a good fit
  • Home has an open door..another rocker on the porch . an extra plate set at the table -and a bed that can be readied for unexpected company
  • Home is  conversations that begin with "Remember when?"
  • Home feels like "Us"...
  • Home: the ultimate Group Hug

High School Class Reunion [s]

PHS left front view of bldg prior to
recent Renovation
 My Patterson High School Class of 1959 gathers at this time each year in south Georgia.
It's been  on our calendars annually since our really big 50th Reunion in 2009. My husband and I were unable to make it this year. The random thoughts below traversed through my even more random mental files after a long telephone conversation with Bonnie who called, knowing we were no shows because of the significant health issue enveloping our lives just now.
Our high school class is unique. Many of the fifty-two graduates have remained or returned to that rural area of south Georgia. Others like myself, had lost contact or only a few reconnect visits over the span of 50 years. Since our big 50th reunion affair we gather each fall and typically about 27-29 of us show up. [We've lost 8 or 10 of the group.]
The showing up is not the unique quality of the class of '59.

'Your House is Like H O M E'

I know you are reading this post title with a quizzical expression and asking "What does that mean?"  It's coming. I will explain...stay with me.

A young blogger friend  notes that her blog is all about "making your house a Home."  I carefully and lovingly try to leave just the right decorative touches around the Harrison House calling upon every ounce of creativity in me to do so.  On more than one occassion someone has at the end of the 'free house tour' exclaimed "I love your house" and the last part of that expression is "It is soo Comfortable."  Another has said "It's like turning the pages of Southern Living Magazine."
After some consideration on my part I  came to the conclusion that these are great responses to my creative efforts. It's  "A Good Thing"..[Martha Stewart]
This weekend I took note of yet another very unique and heartfelt expression after yet another Harrison House Tour.
We were truly blessed to host three Troy University students in our home for lunch on Saturday. Two of the young ladies are International students from China and the third an all American southern girl.
As I took care of  last minute things for our lunch outdoors on the deck, the girls were free to wander and check out our home.  After a quick unsupervised look around the petite 24 yr. old graduate student [who looks like a 15 yr old ] joined me in the kitchen and in her bubbling youthful enthusiastic way shared with me : "I just love your house-it is like  HOME."

Now, how totally priceless is that! She was not trying to be 'cute.'  I asked if I could share her thoughts on Like Gramma's House and asked permission to post pictures.I knew the University students  would likely be surprised  this 71 year old  would be a blogger and gave them a little background on my blog motivation etc.
"I just love your house-it is like  HOME."

Post Script: After the perfect compliment I think it's a good place to stop-another HOME post will follow shortly


November 11, 2012

Lunch in Brundidge - Precious New Friends ~

  My husband and I won the "Lucky You" award today! We  had these three young students for lunch  and the weather was just too perrrrrrfect to waste indoors. We settled around one table outside on the deck.
No Applause please ~ it was soooooo easy. Just grabbed some 'unmatched' and too small tablecloths from my stash, overlapped to pretend they were the perfect size-pulled down one of my favorite teapots [ western Kentucky/Hawesville ] The flower bed alongside the patio conveniently provided an abundance of yellow and purple blooms to fill that teapot then all we had to do was fan away the 'natural beauties' [insects] ..carpenter Bees and something that was harmless but looked a bit like yellow jackets.  Nooooo problem, don't panic, they were only interested in the pollen laden blooms,not us.
Nothing more  needed for decor after laying out the multiple colors of Fiesta dishes. Our meal was simple- the "crowd size" recipe of homemade Chili, [some for the freezer] homemade cornbread- a little fresh green salad and ended the meal with a homemade Pecan Chess Pie topped with [fresh!] whipped creme. [You can applaud now-I made two so there's a spare on hand to share with someone.]
Our three new friends were Troy University students -one American/southerner & two Chinese. Kolby the American student provided transportation and helped when I had trouble communicating clearly with our precious  guests from China.
One of the girls..I think it was Liao came bouncing in the Kitchen after doing the "free house tour" and in that bubbly vivacious adorable way she has delivered her opinion of our house. She said "I really like your house-it feels like a HOME."
Liao, thank
you sweetheart-that was a priceless compliment and I will treasure it. That is after all what we decorators, designers, stagers, bloggers and Moms are trying to do isn't it- Make our house a Home~I found myself wishing I had a better 'ear' for their language-it makes me feel badly thinking that they may have not understood things I tried to communicate. I have much room for improvement.

November 05, 2012

Just for the Record: Let's Swing for the Trees

Grab A  Warm Drink-Pull Up A Chair- Let's Talk

Disclosure:  This post may include TMI [too much information] and be of interest only to Loved Ones & Dear Friends who actually are 'loved ones' also.  I am not offended if you choose to move to another  room to finish your Coffee/tea  [scroll down to another conversation].

My Silver Fox started a new chapter of his life back in the spring, this year 2012. It began with continuing to notice weight loss and  that was not in the beginning chalked up as a bad thing.[a total of 33-38 lbs] He became aware of  issues with swallowing, called this to the attention of his VA doctors perhaps in April. That initiated test next month, another test a few weeks later,etc. I think it was June [while Ted was still drowsy from anesthesia] I sat in a small waiting room and had the doctor who had done his procedure tell me what she found was the base of the Esophagus.

God created us with Tears for times such as this. And he place a medical professional who identified herself as a follower of Christ in that little space to comfort me. She reassured me 'it was going to be allright.' I knew that.  No I didn't need staff clergy  ...I knew where to take my fears, my heartbreaking my doubts..Inside "I cry out." satan would defeat me..if he could. For several weeks I was aware [in the most fearful doubting moments] that satan would have me defeated by those fears, questions and uncertainties.

 I shared that need with Pray-ers. God's word promises ...He will not leave me. He does not promise to take the storms out of our lives but He does walk with me the other side. and His Mercy endures forever.
  • In the beginning : Discussion regarding> Surgery, Chemo, Radiation. I struggled with a little book in hand to understand & organize the information. As I recall we had several conversations with  medical professionals before someone finally said: "Stage 4" [Quietly exit here if it's TMI]

November 01, 2012

Halloween-Fall-Thanksgiving & Christmastime

My dear friend  Heather just confessed to her Christmas Addiction on facebook. She bared her soul and admitted she may need a little help-maybe a support group. It's November 1st and she wants to haul out the Christmas trees and start decking the halls!  Just stop it y'all [facebook posters] with encouraging her.  I am old, getting older, sentimental and loving the Christmas scene, sights and sounds -more with time, not less. I am also, vulnerable as an old lady and can be easily influenced by you young, smart, creative, energetic types. Have mercy! Don't tempt me. I do not have the energy to start climbing that ladder to the attic just yet...maybe need some super duper vitamin infusion first.

OOkay...I have taken a break, am breathing normally-have decided I can defend myself girls so here goes-this is my take on this Halloween - Fall - Thanksgiving - Christmastime DECORATING DILEMMA. Be kind now and listen [ or read, actually] politely the way your Mama taught you.[regarding your elders].

I also struggle with this contagious fervor from east Texas. I definitely, absolutely love the FALL Y'ALL...would use the word AUTUMN more often but it's hard to rhyme. I had no trouble playing along with Heather to get my Fall thing in gear for our online OPEN HOUSE. [for you slow learners..check her blog  you can still find it.  I do love the season changing into it's fabulous colors even if we here in south Alabama do get short changed in that respect. YOU KNOW I'm loving this theme - I have a large BOWL FILLED WITH FALL LEAVES in my living room. [ you can laugh or smirk- I will never know ].
Now here's the REVEAL...remember-be kind.  When you were stretching the dollar store cob webs, flying bats & such..I was politely, ever so quietly IGNORING HALLOWEEN. True- I just pretended it was not happening.  {here is a space for laughter] Today November 1st I have no tub full of CANDY to dispose of and no messy 500 calorie cupcakes to pass out to the neighbors. I STILL HAVE MY FALL Y'ALL.

Henceforth- we  glide uneventfully toward THANKSGIVING..and all the while I, just like you have VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMSDANCING IN MY HEAD...get the picture.?  Yes, I shop all year long in my favorite flea markets & antique shops  for very, very VINTAGE ornaments..shoring up the inventory of all white,gold and silver or replacing those broken last season. 
Some years I am smart enough to have some fall deco that can hang around and have Christmas worked into without having to do the huge take down and put up. 

NEXT:  I have my problems too.  While I cannot wait to have that 9ft plus tree done and flip the switch..there's a catch.  I DON'T WANT TO TAKE IT DOWN AFTER CHRISTMAS.  While Heather's hubby doesn't know what he might find [Christmas] all over the house when he comes back from his hunting trip in this pre thanksgivng space...My husband just prays after December 26th that he will be surprised when he walks in and find NOTHING  decorated., all signs of Christmastime gone. Did I mention that we have small trees all over the house. I will share Christmas Decor Pictures just as soon as it is decent to do so. Get in line! 

Thanks Heather & Company for your inspiring facebook conversation  - I jumped into your fb exchange and when the post began to look like a 'book' I decided to publish it for Like Gramma's House Readers/Followers  instead.  If you are new to LGH I hope you can linger for a while on the front porch, the backyard swing or maybe settle in on the new white bench next to the deck, perhaps snuggle up w a cup of coffee or grab a favorite tea and enjoy -and catch up with recent posts and the quiet, small town life we share in south Alabama.

Looking Forward,