Sunday Drive

Most of you know by now that I write for our local paper.  I enjoy it and it puts a little extra money in my pocket.  What you probably don’t know is that not all of my ideas get the green light.  Sometimes they are too far away or sometimes there are too many of the same type of thing to be fair.  Well, last Sunday it was raining and I was trying to come up with a drive and Rod was home…well, we all know that there are times that he doesn’t want me out gallivanting around, and I don’t blame him but I also have these other responsibilities.  Then I had an incredible idea and it seemed so perfect that I asked him to go as well.

I had the idea that since it was raining an indoor destination would be best and not that far away, (which was good for Rod) was a huge flea market!  Eureka!  I have found my adventure!!  Well, this is what I thought anyway.  Later on the editor told me that since there are so many flea markets, unless it is special I really couldn’t focus (or they really) on just one over another one.  Well…that is why I am writing it here.  The following story is close to the one that I was going to write for the paper.  I know not as many people will see it, but I wanted to write it anyway.   I hope you enjoy it!

Sometimes, when you wake up on a Sunday and look out the window, your plans for whatever drive you were going to take are dashed.  When this happens, you can either stay home, or find somewhere else to go.  A Sunday Drive is a tradition of spending time together as a family and just like in life, sometimes plans get changed.  That is when we need to readjust and spend the time together in another way.  This week the rain on Sunday may have prevented heading to a nice outdoorsy spot, but in Union, Mississippi, in an old RV and boat storage building is an experience that has something for everyone.

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The dictionary defines a flea market as: a market, often outdoors, consisting of a number of individual stalls selling old or used articles, curios and antiques, cut-rate merchandise,etc.   It further goes on to tell us that the origin of a flea market is: 1917, especially in reference to the marché aux puces in Paris, so-called”because there are so many second-hand articles sold of all kinds that they are believed to gather fleas.” [E.S. Dougherty, “In Europe,” 1922].  We know that there are no fleas, but there are second hand articles of all kinds.  As you enter the confines for the very large metal building you will see the hard work of others and things that may transport you back to your childhood.  Handcrafted items and jars of marbles near each other give way to bottles and glasses and costume jewelry.  Books and cans and signs, everyone is sure to find something that they can take home with them.  More than that, there are memories waiting to be found.  Down one aisle sits 3 Flexible Flyer snow sleds.  Someone will walk by those sleds and laugh, remembering how they flew down a hill from their childhood.  Recalling vividly how exhilarating it was to soar down the hill only to fall off at the end, into a large bank of fresh, soft snow.  Remembering how they ran as fast as they could back up the hill, dragging the sled behind them so that they could do it all again and again until their mother declared it was time to head home.  Or maybe the tractor seat on the milk can will remind someone of their grandpa working all day on his tractor but still finding time to stop and show them how to catch the biggest bass in the pond.  

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There are no fleas at the flea market, but there are memories so thick that you almost have to brush them aside.  Not all of the items may end up going home with you in your car, but most likely you will have new memories to talk to your family about…things that you may never have thought to talk about before.  Time spent together making new memories from old ones.  That is what Sunday Drives are all about.

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As an aside, Rod and I ended up with a Flexible Flyer that we are going to use for decoration in our house in Michigan.  I never thought I would see one here in Mississippi but you just never know what will pop up.  Anyway, take the time to visit the Flea Market.  It is on Highway 15 in Union, Mississippi.  I can’t guarantee you will take something home but  I can guarantee you will have lots to look at!

For today I leave you with a few shots from the flea market and the hope that you will find time to make those memories with your family wherever you can, rain or shine!!  Talk to you all soon!!

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The Dance

I have to drive to work every day, at least a half an hour. Driving time for me is thinking time. I guess you probably figured that out, since I do most of my posts by dictating them into my iPhone as I drive. LOL. At least it is a time that I’m putting to good use, Or using it any rate.  Sometimes songs on the radio make me think about things.  I mean, I know that I’ve talked about this before. Trisha Yearwood’s  song for instance, The Song Remembers When. That is such a true song that it amazes me every time I hear it. Some songs make you cry, some songs make you laugh, and some songs make you think about things.

Well, as I was driving, Garth Brooks song The Dance came on the radio. Now I’m not sure if you’ve ever really listen to that song, but the chorus says something like this:

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

If you really think about those words, they are so true. When I grew up, I got kicked out of my house when I was 16. A lot of that was my fault, but I got kicked out nonetheless. And I ended up marrying my first husband, Chuck. That didn’t work out, and that is a fact, but I got my beautiful daughter Lianna out of it.  When I left with Chuck I was young and scared and had no idea what life was like.  When I left Chuck I was a little wiser and had more experiences and a big responsibility in a small package and so I had to figure life out pretty quickly.

Then I moved on, and I met my boyfriend Russ. Russ and I were together for five years, and that didn’t work out either. But, Russ led me to my husband Rod. And, it was just what I needed at the time. I still have fond memories of both of them, they were both exactly what I needed when I needed them and being with them taught me a lot and shaped me partly into who I am today. Now, both relationships ended, and both times my heart got broke. But, if I hadn’t gone through the hurt I wouldn’t be where I am now. And where I am now is in a marriage that has gone on for over 20 years to a man that must have been hand picked exclusively for me.

Even after 20 years, there are times that there is pain, but there’s a lot of times that are equisitely beautiful. This dance with my husband for the last 21 years, has been the best dance that I have ever had. I would never have been here had I not gone through the other things. Had I not had Chuck, who’s to say I would’ve found Russ, and if I hadn’t had Russ, who’s to say that I would’ve ever found Rod. And Rodney is where I was supposed to end up.  There was a time before him, but there will be no other after him. So yes, our lives are one big game of chance. And in the end, that’s it. You take a chance. You take a risk, your heart gets broken or it doesn’t, but in the end it’s all worth it.  The sweetest moments in my life have come about because I took a chance. Like Mr. Brooks says in his song, I could’ve missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance. I wouldn’t give up one moment with any one in my past ormy presents for anything. The pain and the heartbreak, well they lead to the sweetest moments in life.  They can  lead to bliss.

Today, I just want to leave you with one thought. Go out, take a chance. Live your life, give your heart to someone. It might get broke, but you might have the sweetest longest dance that you could ever imagine. And in the end it’s totally worth it! I hope everyone out there has a great day, and I’ll talk to you soon. Oh and by the way, here are a couple shots that you may or may not have seen before. I hope you enjoy them!

Being nice

I have three sisters. I don’t talk to some of them all that much, I think the last time I talk to my  one sister was when her oldest was being born. Some of that’s my fault, and some of it’s just life. My family has never been really close. I have one sister that lives in Nebraska and does her own thing and no one in the family really hears from her. And then I have another sister.  Now when I got kicked out of my house when I was 16 this sister was just a baby. She was actually, in either kindergarten or first grade I can’t remember which. So, I never really got to know her all that well. When she was younger   However, I do love my sisters. And the sister that I’m talking about now, is gay. I have absolutely no problem with that.  It’s her life, and I think she needs to live it however she sees fit and do what makes her happy.

Well, at any rate last night I saw her post something on social media, and basically people were judging her and giving her a hard time for whatever reason. Now, life is hard enough without someone getting into your business and creating you all kinds of misery. My sister, may put on a good front but she’s actually A very tenderhearted person. She may act like she doesn’t care and might pretend to say fuck everything, but in all actuality the words and actions of others hurt. I don’t care if she’s my sister she’s not my sister, I would feel the same pretty much no matter who it was. Why on earth do people have to be mean?  I mean honestly, is she really hurting anyone? For that matter is the kid that you teased yesterday really hurting anyone? Is the person that you judged really hurting anyone? And let me ask you this, are the infringing upon your life in someway? I’m sorry is the air that you breathe and that they share so precious that you can’t share it with another human being? I mean at the end of the day, that’s really what we’re talking about here. Another human being. I’m pretty sure, that the golden rule that my grandma taught me said that I should treat everybody how I wanted to be treated. Pretty sure that’s what it was. And all of these people, these so-called Christians or these people to think that they’re so much better than everybody else treat everyone else like crap. Now, on the same subject, I don’t believe in pushing your lifestyle, whatever it is in someone else’s face. So, all of those activist for whatever they are trying to activate for, they need to take a step back too. 

If you really think about it, if you just went about your life, and tried to treat other people nicely, or however you want to be treated, and everybody just did that, pretty sure that the whole world would get along pretty well. And this is not meant to be a rant against anybody. Well, against mean people maybe. It was just an observation. If you are so unhappy with your life that you feel the need to make other people feel worse than you, then you have a serious problem. I don’t know where in the world this mentality came from, but making other people feel bad because you feel bad really doesn’t make you feel any better. It might make you feel a little superior for a minute, but helping someone up and brightening some Ones day will make you feel so much better in the long run.

As for my crazy family, I love my sisters. I may not talk to all of them, but I do love them. I just want them to be happy. That’s all I want out of anybody’s life. And whoever they are with, or however they choose to live their life, well unless they’re out murdering people or something. However they choose to live it, as long as you’re not hurting someone else, or harming themselves or others, who am  I to say what’s right or wrong. Ultimately, in the end I’m not the judge, I’m not the jury. That’s for a higher power whatever it is, to judge us. So to all the mean people out there, take a look in the mirror, and get over it. Life is way too short to be mean to other people. All it does is make people sure that you have serious issues.  I can’t think of any excuse in the world to actually be mean to somebody. I mean I just can’t think of one. And, why is it someone else’s business or responsibility they think, to get into your business? I just don’t see it. Is there a hurt being done? Is someone dying? No.  My poor sister, and her fiancé, were so upset about this person that was supposedly their friend and doing all of the things that she did. At the end of the day, this woman obviously has issues. And they are far bigger issues than any that she might think that my sister has. I just don’t understand it.

So, today I’ll leave you with this thought. Be nice to people. It’s just that simple. Most of us don’t want people to be mean to us. So  be nice. I know sometimes it’s hard, and I know sometimes we have bad days and we are mean to people. I am I know everybody else is too. But, to actively go out and be mean, I try never to do that. Because you never know someone’s story. So, be nice. I hope everyone has a great day, and I’ll leave you with some pictures that you may or may not have seen before. Talk to you soon oh, and by the way happy Easter everyone!

Wishes

We’re so busy in the day to day that sometimes I think we don’t stop and think about what we really want. Or, maybe just what we wish we had. I think this is kind of something that we need to do because if you don’t think about what you want, then you’re kind of aimlessly floating around in the big pool of life. If you don’t think about your goals, or aspirations then how do you know went to strive for.

In my life, I have not been a very good goal setter. All the self-help Gurus tell you that you have to set a goal and you have to go for it. You have to visualize it and then you’ll achieve it. Well, I’m kind of aimless when it comes to goal setting. Now my husband, he’s pretty good at goal setting. He sets his goal for say buying a car and he works really hard and he gets it. My goals are a lot broader than that. I always wanted to be a mom. I wanted to be a really good mom. And I hope that I have achieved that, I’m a mom anyway. I wanted to have a farm, I have a farm and I guess it was my dream to have it and we got it. I wanted to be a good wife. And sometimes I’m not, but overall I try to be. I wanted to have someone that loved me. And my husband, he really does love me. He loves me to the best of his ability and that is pretty good. Now, it may not be the movie romance kind of love, but that’s OK. It’s definitely not the fairytale kind, I mean there is no way that he is going to climb a tower for me, he would just get a tractor or a ladder or a lift or something, but he’d be there for me if I needed him. I think that’s fairytale enough, so I got that goal too. I wanted to always be good at whatever I did. And I hold the record for the most motorcycle sales at our dealership, I’m writing to series for our local paper, and I am thoroughly enjoying taking pictures all the time. So, I guess my goals are more broad, but I’m still getting there.

Now, that I’m getting much older, my goals are even more simple. I want to grow old with my husband. That one’s pretty self-explanatory. I want to see my husband happy, and Not have to work so hard. I want to enjoy my life. I want to find something that my husband and I both enjoy, and be able to do that together . And we’ve got some plans, So that one’s not unattainable. I’d like to take a class and really learn how to use my camera properly. I’d like to take one awesome picture that just makes people go wow. I would like to see my children be happy. Above all, that is one of my most burning desires. Actually for everyone that I care about. Even if I were miserable for the rest of my life as long as my children and my husband and my friends were happy most of the time, I would consider that a success. And I say most of the time because, you can’t be happy all the time, or you would never appreciate the good things. A little bit of sadness or trouble or turmoil or hard times must happen, if it doesn’t then how do you know when things are good. A little bit of bad sprinkled in with a lifetime of good is the recipe for a really good life. Well, that’s only my opinion   I’d like to have grandchildren, and I’d like to see all of my children get married. Not anytime soon mind you, but I would like to live long enough to see that. And if I don’t live that long, If my time to go is today or tomorrow or next year, I want people to be glad that they knew me. I want to have spent my life making people happy, or feel better. Whether it’s with a kind word, a picture, a memory, this blog, or some other way that I have no idea that I did. That’s my goal, that’s my wish. I want to be remembered fondly. Hopefully, I’ll get there. I can say for sure that I do not want to get there tomorrow. I’m really not ready to leave this place, but that’s kind of selfish of me and that one is totally not up to me either.  I’ll go whenever I go, and I just hope that my wishes will have come true.

 I hope each and everyone of you has whatever wish that you are wishing for come true today. And so, I’ll leave you with those thoughts, and a couple of photographs that you may or may not of seen before. I don’t think these will make you stop and go wow, but I hope they at least brighten your day a little bit. I’ll talk to you soon!

Checking in

I have not been a very good blogger lately. I know this. I try and find ways to fit everything that I want to do into my life, and it just doesn’t work. Things always come up, and pull me in other directions. I’m telling you, if there was a way that I could, all I would do would be travel around, right about my adventures, and take pictures.  That’s it! But, unfortunately I have to do that work thing. And I also have to take care of my family, and my house, and the things that arise with all of that.

Last Sunday instead of adventuring, I had to paint my exterior doors, go to Walmart, and do something else around the house. All of this is stuff that has to be done if you own home, it’s just stuff that gets in the way.  Last week was actually really messed up anyway. Sterling and I went to the gym one day, because the week was terrible. My youngest son lost a very good friend of his to a car accident. This girl was in the prime of her life, and her candle was snuffed out. By a stupid accident, one that wasn’t even her fault. My youngest son had to learn the lesson that sometimes for no apparent reason people are taken from us. That’s a lesson that’s always hard, no matter what age you are. He and this girl we’re very good friends, and she’d been to our house. So, last week was messed up. How do you let your child know that there must be a reason why she’s gone? How do you explain to your child that someone just out of carelessness cause the death of his friend? It’s always hard, for a mom or a dad, when the child is hurting. It’s our very nature to want to hold them and cuddle them and protect them until the herd is gone. There is some hurts that you can’t do that with. And as I watched my son cry one night, I knew that at his age I couldn’t just have him climb onto my lap and snuggle him. One thing my son hates more than anything else is showing weakness, he gets that from his mother, and for him that his weakness. How do I let him know, that sometimes it’s OK to show weakness. Showing emotion is not weakness but actually strength. Anyway, the whole week was messed up. So it threw us out of our routine. And on Sunday, I had things that had to be done.

So far, this week has been a little better. We’re back on the routine, but now Sterling is working in Baton Rouge. It’s Easter break at school, and so my 16-year-old son and his friend took off last night, in my truck, and drove three hours to Baton Rouge to work with his dad. Let me tell you, that was another hard thing. I had to watch my son drive away from me, knowing that he was heading into Baton Rouge traffic, and even though his dad was on the other end of the death of the journey, it’s still hard knowing that he is going to be driving that distance by himself. He did it, as I knew we would, but it doesn’t make it any easier for parents. I’m reminded of a quote from a movie, it was called 10 things I hate about you, and in it the dad says to the daughter you had me on the bench for years, your sister still lets me play a few innings. And that’s how I feel with my boys. Spencer, he is busy trying to do his own thing. Not exactly having the best of luck with a lot of it, but he definitely goes his own way and really doesn’t want a whole lot to do with the family. Sterling on the other hand, he still wants to do things with me. He wants to do things with his dad. And that makes the times when I can see how old he is getting so much harder.  Sometimes when I look at him, I still see the little boy that would climb up on my lap and beg to be read a story. He’s awful big for that now

So, I guess my lesson for this week is that sometimes you have to let them go, you have to let them learn the hard lessons. We don’t want to, and sometimes it’s harder on us than it is on them. We have to let them fail, we have to let them fly, and we have to let them take all the tumbles that happen as their learning to spread their wings.  All we can do as parents is hang onto the moments when they still let us play a few innings. I hope everyone has a great day, and I hope you make memories while you can. I’ll talk to you soon.

By the way, here are a couple of shots that you may or may not have seen.

Kemper Lake 4-5-17 (18)

Red Bluff 3-26-17 (25)

Red Bluff

I promised I’d tell you about our adventure, and I am a woman of my word. I have been wanting to travel to Redbluff Mississippi for quite some time. It’s approximately 2 1/2 hours from my house, so it was not a trip that would be taken on the spur the moment. And not a trip that my husband would be too awfully fond of.

Anyway, the day came and Sterling and I loaded up. I wasn’t feeling exactly myself, but I ate a little breakfast, and I thought it would just pass. I thought I’d be OK. Well, I was pretty wrong, but that’s later on. I drove down to red Bluff, which is situated west of Hattiesburg Mississippi.  Of course, I, being directionally challenged had a little bit of a difficult time finding the place. By the time Rod called and started kind of chewing me out for going so far away, I was getting thoroughly frustrated. But, I was already there. I mean turning around really wasn’t an option, although I did consider it for about a microsecond.   With adventure looming, now all we had to do was find the place.

Unfortunately, this time, Siri just couldn’t help me out. After we had traveled in a full circle and come back to where we had started, it was looking like this was going to be a non-adventure. Then, I saw the motorcycles. I looked it Sterling and I said, “we’re going to follow them!”  Sterling looked at me with a  question in his eyes, and I said “motorcyclists Love to go to red Bluff. I’ll bet that’s where they’re going.”

We followed the motorcyclists down a curvy and winding road. It was absolutely gorgeous. And then, there on the side of the road was a road close sign. We had found our adventure!  We parked the truck, and walked under the barrier, and met up with a nice man named Harley who had been coming to red Bluff for quite some time. He and his daughter were taking the walk, and they had brought some friends that had never been there. It was his daughters first time visiting. As we stepped up to the top of the hill, the view was absolutely amazing. For a moment, I actually forgot that my stomach was a little upset. For miles and miles and miles all you could see was beautiful blue skies and fluffy white clouds and green trees below them. I never expected to see a view like that standing in front of a canyon in Mississippi. Then, as you look down you see the canyon. The Rosian over the years has created peaks and valleys and paths, and on the cliff faces you can see bright brilliant colors running all the way through them. I saw a red’s, and oranges, and purple, and yellow. It was magnificent. Harley told us that if we got back in the truck and drove a little bit farther there would be another parking area and on that side there was a path that would take us down to the river. Well, of course you know we had to go!

On the other side of the canyon, there were probably 30 to 40 cars parked. There were people seemingly everywhere, yet we ran into very few. And true to his word, there was a path just like Harley had said. Sterling and I started to wind our way down, and I just started to feel not so great, but the thought of the adventure kept me going forward. When we got to the bottom there were two ways we could go. If we turn to the right, we would enter the canyon, if we turn to the left, we could head towards the pearl river and the railroad tracks. We turned left. If you more feet, and they’re in front of us was a set of railroad tracks and a little bit farther we could see the river. The trees covered this area and it was beautiful and shaded, and here we did see people walking along the tracks and picnicking with their dogs. We even saw a family that was splashing in a creek, and later we saw them playing on a sandbar. I knew that there was a train wreckage somewhere down here and so we asked a family where it was and continued our track that way. As we walked Sterling and I discussed why the train wrecked, and how come they never cleaned it up. But neither of us had the answer. When we got to the train wreckage, of course there had to be some climbing! And the train cars were positioned in such a way that you could actually get in them. They were laying on their side, and we were not the first to climb inside of them. A funny thing happened when we were in there though. I guess it must’ve been because of the way the train car was laying, but both Sterling and I felt dizzy standing in this car. It was the strangest thing!

After we exited the train car, I really started feeling really bad. The thing that made it even worse, was that the truck was parked approximately 150 feet above me. I didn’t really want to ruin the adventure for Sterling, because he was actually having a good time so, we went on. Someone had told us that we could walk the creek bed,  and enter the canyon that way. Well, with the way I was feeling that sounded like a really good idea. I was slow, and some of my pictures were out of focus, but I am really glad that we chose to walk the creek bed. It was another landscape entirely. It was almost alien again. It was another landscape that I really didn’t picture in Mississippi.  At one point, Sterling stop to wait for me and I took his picture standing and some trees behind me, being very quiet, was a couple who had hung a Hamic between two trees and was sitting there watching the world go by I guess. It was a nice place to relax!

Finally, we decided to enter the canyon. This was so amazing! Standing at the bottom of the canyon and looking up at where we had been made us feel so small. And the colors were just as bright down here as they were looking down on them. Had I felt better, Sterling and I probably would’ve tried to climb one of the cliff faces. As it was there were still several hikers that we’re sitting in various locations on the cliff faces. We walked around, and explored, and then it was time to make the climb back up to the top. Let’s just say, that I didn’t throw up. That was probably the biggest achievement of the day! I did have to stop at least three times on the 400 foot trail up to the top. At one point, A woman passed me and she said that woman looks like she’s in shape I’m gonna hate to see how I look coming back up. Let’s just say, do not go out to Redbluff Mississippi when you have a stomach virus!

I did make it to the top though! And just to let you know how bad I felt, Sterling drove home and I really don’t think I side seat drove it all. He would probably tell you differently, and I just can’t help it. All in all, the trip was amazing. It was all inspiring, and something that just must be seen to be believed and appreciated. It was time I get to spend with Sterling, and it was especially bittersweet this week for personal reasons.  On a sidenote, I didn’t end up going to work the next day I never got out of bed! Thank goodness that stomach virus was only the 24 hour variety, I don’t usually get sick, but that was horrible!

Today I want to leave you with this thought. No matter what kind of family you have, no matter if it’s fractured and no matter if you’re mad at them or they’re mad at you, make sure they know that you love them. Make sure that you take the time to spend time with them. And make sure you never let an opportunity go by to make a memory with them. You just never know when the next moment will be your last moment. I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day! Here are a couple of shots of red Bluff, if you live in Mississippi, make sure you go! By the way, I did look it up, and it seems like almost every state has a Grand Canyon of some sort. So go explore yours today!

What I Have Been Doing

I have not been writing much. I’m a terrible blogger. There’s been so much going on, but I have not had the time to just stop and take time to give you the attention that you deserve. So, I wanted to let you know I still am adventuring. Although now, my adventures and up in the newspaper. I think that is totally awesome!  Here is the latest adventure that I had, in newspaper article form.

Sunday drive to Durant
I took another Sunday adventure last Sunday, and let me tell you, once that was published I’ll have to actually tell you the story. I was feeling terrible that day. But, the adventure was amazing.

A friend of mine told me that she’s proud of me. And I kind a looked at her and I told her thank you of course and I must’ve had a puzzled expression on my face because she said you’re doing what you love. I try to. There are so many setbacks and hurdles that block my way but somehow I still try and climb over them.  At the end of the day, that’s really all we can do. Try and climb over the obstacles that are blocking our path and keep heading towards our ultimate goal. I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day today. I’ll talk to you soon!