A Little Bite of Heaven

I’m on a fruit kick.  My last article for the Clay County Progress was about blueberries, one of my favorite fruits to use in pies, tarts, or on top of vanilla ice cream.  Thinking about blueberries naturally turned my attention to another fruit I like to grow – strawberries.  Actually thinking of blueberries and strawberries always makes me feel patriotic with all that blue and red going on. But, I digress. Strawberries are easy to grow in our neck of the woods, either in rows in your garden or trailing out of those fancy strawberry pots you can pick up at any garden center.  Who would have thought that garden strawberries had their start, so to speak, in Brittany, France in the 1750’s?  Yep, some French types successfully crossed a variety of...

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Facing Old Demons

This past weekend I attended a wedding in Knoxville, Tennessee.   It was a lovely event, from the thoughtful welcome gifts awaiting every out-of-town guest at hotel check-in on Friday afternoon to the fabulous and classic reception at the town’s oldest and most prestigious country club on Saturday evening after a five o’clock ceremony at the First Presbyterian Church.  An old fashioned society wedding in a “small” Southern town. I had struggled with the decision of whether or not to attend this wedding.  Knoxville held terrible and painful memories for me – ugly divorce, loss of children, ostracization by those I had thought my friends.  In truth, I had suffered a profound and devastating emotional and mental trauma there twenty-eight years...

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Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, that 24 hour period where lovers are celebrated, candy makers and jewelers make a fortune, and for those of us in a relationship, a day where we try to figure out what sort of gift is appropriate for our significant other. Gifting on Valentine’s Day can be a serious challenge. For the person early in a relationship, the question is “gift or card, or both?” And, if the decision is to buy a gift, question two becomes what sort of gift? Men and women have tortured themselves over this small but sometimes crucial decision, because the nature of the gift often symbolically conveys more than what the giver has ever been able to express in words. There are so many unspoken rules relative to the appropriateness of the gift to be given,...

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Civil Discourse – A Reminder

What follows is an essay I posted during the 2012 elections.  At that time I had become very concerned about the name calling and other mean spirited attacks being posted on Facebook simply because one person disagreed with what another said about the presidential candidates and their respective parties.  The current government shutdown has revived this ugly behavior, wherein persons who should otherwise know better have crawled into the gutter to sling mud at those holding opposing opinions, once again utilizing name calling and other immature tactics rather than engaging in civil discourse.  So, let us all reflect on what we say before we press that “enter” button.   Here is the comment I posted this morning on Facebook:  From time to time I...

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Being Right, And More

The path to any kind of enlightenment, even of the smallest sort, seems to take forever, and it’s not a one time event.  I don’t know whether you have found this to be true in your own life journey, but it has certainly been true in mine. First of all, I am an “A” type-driven personality.  I was the one who always turned in her term paper early, the one who read ahead on assignments, the one who obeyed the rules to the letter (I wonder if there is some OCD going on there?) and who expected everyone else’s exact compliance as well.   Second, I am extraordinarily competitive, a fact which was only made worse by being a trial lawyer for thirty plus years.   I might not have been the smartest lawyer out there, but my “A” driven compulsion for...

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Wearing White After Labor Day

As I was perusing Facebook today I noted a question posed by a friend from Mississippi.  She asked “White after Labor Day?”  and then proceeded to show both sides of that question.  I was surprised to learn that the habit of not wearing white after Labor Day was birthed in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s as a way for the wealthy to distinguish themselves sartorially.  If you were a member of the lucky sperm club, born into wealth and privilege, you would automatically know how gauche and plebeian it would be to wear white after Labor Day unless you were (1) a bride, (2) a debutante, or (3) at a resort.  Otherwise all that was white would be relegated to the closet until Easter.  Of course, rules are made to be broken, and if you were a famous...

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Change

Lord, how I hate change.  The very word makes me cringe.  I am a creature of habit and I like things just the way they are, even if I know change will improve my circumstances.  For some reason, even with strong evidence to the contrary, my immediate response to the thought of having to change is that I won’t like the result. Over the years I have come to understand that part of the reason I don’t like change is because I don’t have control over the ultimate outcome.  In other words, change would be just fine so long as I could exercise complete and absolute directorial control.  For some reason, if I am not in control I always expect the very worst result. Simply put, I am afraid. Early in my journey a wise teacher told me that even when we are hurting...

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