Ned and Sammy

One of my favorite stories to share about Ned is the love that developed between him and our dog Sammy. In order to do the story justice, I need to start from the beginning.

We had a dog growing up. A basset hound named, Duchess. She wasn’t the most loving dog. A good dog but not one that was allowed to come hangout in the house, primarily because she smelled and she shed!

She lived many years and Ned took really great care of her as she aged but he wasn’t all together fond of dogs.

Almost always on Christmas Eve, Mom and Ned would spend the night at our house. They were always eager to be part of watching their grandchildren open their gifts on Christmas morning.

In 2008, it was no different. Although, I did ask Ned if he was sure he wanted to stay because Amy was getting a puppy.

He replied, “Of course your Mom and I want to stay. I just don’t understand why you feel the need to get a dog. They’re nothing but trouble and you have to find someone to take care of them when you’re gone. Don’t ask me because I am not keeping yours or anyone else’s dog!”

I’ll bet as soon as he saw the delight in Amy’s eyes the next morning, he, too, was smitten by the 1.9 pound puff of white fluff.  However, he wasn’t about to cave-in at that point. He was way to stubborn!

After about 6 weeks, we were sitting at Amy’s basketball game and I told him we were going out of town the next weekend.  Jokingly I said, “You want to keep Sammy?”

His response, not shocking, “Now, I told you I don’t like dogs.  I am not keeping your dog.  I told you they’re a lot of trouble and you had to get care for them when you go out of town.”

I replied, “No worries.  I’m already boarding him.  I just wanted to see if your mind had changed.  You may not want to keep him now, but I’ll bet you will.  He’s so cute and sweet and he doesn’t shed.”

He huffed and said, “I’m not keeping your dog.”

After another few months, we had to board Sammy again.  It was not a good experience for him or us.  He was mistreated.  That didn’t make Ned happy either.  However, he still wouldn’t yield.

Then we found Emily.  A friend’s daughter who agreed to keep him.  He enjoyed staying with Emily and her family.  He was well-loved and cared for there.

One weekend, Emily wasn’t available and I decided to give Ned an opportunity to say, “yes”  By this time, Sammy was more than welcome in their house.  He was actually invited to come anytime we were visiting or having family functions.

I called and we chatted a few minutes.  I was prepping him for the big question.  “So, we’re going out of town this weekend and don’t have anywhere to leave Sammy.  I don’t want to board him.  Will you keep his cute little self?”

Without an ounce of hesitation, he responded, “Yeah.  I’ll keep him but I’ll tell you one thing right now, that dog is NOT sleeping in my bed. ”  I assured him that I would bring Sammy’s crate and he could put him in the crate at night.  I did forewarn him that he would cry because he was accustomed to sleeping with us.  I told him, “He likes his crate but only in the daytime and only when you’re not home.”

We left and Sammy was happy as a clam to be staying with Mamaw and Papaw.

The next morning, I get a call from Mom.  I just have to tell you what happened.  “We put Sammy in his crate last night.  (They put the crate in the laundry room which is on the opposite side of their bedroom)  He started to cry.  He was so pitiful.  I went to brush my teeth.  I told Ned, ‘if he doesn’t stop crying I’m going to get him.  I’ll take him upstairs with me and we will sleep on another bed.  I just can’t stand hearing that little thing cry.’  By the time I got ready for bed and came back into the room, Ned had the dog in our bed.”

She sent a picture and I can’t find it.

Needless to say, Sammy stayed with them anytime we went out-of-town, except for the past few times and Ned was too sick.  Good for Sammy, Alex was home and willing to take care of him.

The above picture was taken two Christmases after Sammy arrived.  Again, on Christmas day when Mom and Ned were at the house to watch their grandchildren open their gifts from Santa.  My what a difference two years made…….

This year will look and feel so different for us but I am so thankful and grateful for the many Christmases we had together!

The Highest of Highs and the Lowest of Lows

Talk about a flurry of emotions yesterday. This one picture brought back everything from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.

The day was Friday October 9, 2015. Early that morning I received a phone call from my friend Ashley. She was delivering the news we all knew but didn’t want to hear. There was nothing more the doctors could do for our friend Gary. His time on earth was drawing to a close.

I couldn’t even get mascara on because every time I started tears would flow. It was difficult to get ready that morning. I had to pick myself up because I had a mission. I had to go find shoes for Amy.

I collected my thoughts and got myself together. Combed every shoe store and department in Spartanburg, until I finally found a pair of shoes Amy agreed to! The funny part is that after 2 1/2 hours of shopping, the shoes didn’t work and we ended up returning them.

Anyway, I left myself time to run by the hospital to see Gary. It was a sad day for all of us! We had all hoped beyond all hope that he would recover.

That evening, Amy was crowned Homecoming Queen. I remember thinking, “Wow, God! Only you could take the blow off my otherwise hard day.”

Now, two years later that picture represents so much more. Truthfully, it was about the time that Ned started to cough. Chances are the lung cancer was already there. We just didn’t know it.

Amy was so eager to get out of her dress that Mom and Ned missed the photo-op with the dress and crown. Graciously, she put the crown back on but wasn’t about to change her clothes. The best part and I didn’t even catch it until yesterday was that she had her “Nitro” shirt on. This shirt was their HHS FCA shirts. Oddly enough, Nitro is the name Terry gave Ned years ago.

The urban dictionary defines Nitro the following way:

Ask: Describes a person, place or thing as being unequivocally, quintessentially spectacular and dumbfounding.

Without a doubt he has lived up to his name. He is very memorable. If you’ve ever met him; you’ll never forget him and he is definitely one of those folks who can leave you leave you astonished and amazed. You never quite know what he will say or what he will do!

I am just reminded by this picture how much can happen in the course of two years. It reminds me to not take things or people for granted. It reminds me that relationships are much more important that things. It also reminds me that even on the darkest of days, there is always light, hope and joy!


The Day She Thought She Could Fly

This is my precious Mamaw. Today is her birthday and she would’ve been 92! However, God called her home seven years ago. She joyfully went!

That’s the thing about her. She was always full of laughter and her laughter was highly contagious. She could laugh at anything and sometimes everything

Her biggest challenge was worry. Sometimes I would even accuse her of worrying thugs into existence. She literally did! Often times saying, “Honey, I just can’t help myself.”

She loved to tell stories. A true gift of storytelling, she had. We loved her stories, especially the ones she dubbed, “The old tim

Of those “old day” stories this one is by far my favorites. There was a character named Ms. Moodle and her dog named Poodle. Her personality and traits similar to that of Mary Poppins. She flew with an umbrella in one hand and her Poodle and purse in the other. My grandmother was fascinated by her adventurous spirit.

One day Mamaw decided that she was tired of her birthing life and needed to adventure far away.   So, she packed a few belongings in her purse, grabbed her umbrella and climbed on the flat roof of their house. Her brother stood below. She waved goodbye assuring him she’d be back some day, opened the umbrella and jumped. She hit the ground with an enormous thud and her brother laughing uncontrollably.

She learned very quickly that an umbrella won’t make you fly.  But I’ll let you in on a little secret, on the day God called her home she soared.

Happy birthday dear Mamaw.  Know you’re  eating the piece of cake with the most icing today.

The gift of laughter

The person who can bring the spirit of the laughter in the room is indeed blessed.” Bennett Cerf

It’s obvious is you watch my video posts that I am not the comedian in our relationship. Terry is. He’s witty and that’s what attracted me to him when we first met.

In fact, the first time he came for dinner, he spent the better part of 30 minutes telling my mom and sister that his parents served in the Armed forces in Korea and that’s why they chose Kim for his middle name. He had them convinced! I finally had to call his bluff.

When Mom and I worked for Barker Construction, she answered the phones. He would call and change his voice. Pretending to be a customer or vendor and at the right moment, when he knew he had fooled her, would start howling with laughter. I heard her from the other room laughing and saying, “Terry, you crazy thing, you!”

He’s just downright funny. He can’t help himself and it comes out naturally. You never know when it’s gonna happen either. He even laughs at himself. Just kills me and makes me laugh that much more.

I’m pretty much the opposite. I have very little wit and I am not funny. I just like to laugh and others seem to follow suit. I’m not a “Debbie downer”, I’m just a little more serious minded and can’t think of quick retorts. I’m one of those that come up with things weeks later. However, every once in awhile it happens for me. Something will just roll off my tongue and I surprise myself. Indeed, I’ve been around Terry way too long.

So, the other evening, after our date we stopped by the Fresh Market to pick up a few things. About half way home, I remembered I needed contact lens solution. I told Terry to turn around because we weren’t that far from Walgreens. He looked at me and said, ” And where is Walgreens?”

I replied, “On the corner of happy and healthy, of course!”

He didn’t laugh. He didn’t even utter as much as a soft chuckle.

Shocked that he wasn’t laughing, I said, “Really dude? You didn’t even laugh at that. That was funny.”

“I wasn’t thinking about what you said, I was just thinking about where I needed to go!” He replied

Needless to say, the past few days he’s had to endure hardship over not laughing at what I said.

And what say you? Funny or not funny. Now, I know good and well I can’t come up with a slam sandwich or Jethro Bodine Calmpett sandwich. I can’t put a cowboy hat on my head and start dancing around and singing. I can’t serenade him before the church service begins. I can’t drape a towel over m arm and pretend to be a waiter at some fancy restaurant. But when I say something funny, he should laugh.

Proverbs 15:13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but with a heartache comes depression.

Pocket Mouse Goes to Church

Would you believe me if I told you that my mom was a Tom boy when she was young?  Most of you, who know her, are probably scratching your heads wondering if we’re talking about the same person. It true. It’s truer than true.

First of all, she loved fishing with her daddy.   She would grab the fishing poles and beg him to take her. It didn’t take much convincing on his part since he loved spending time with her. She would even bait the hooks and remove the fish. I think the only think she wouldn’t do was clean fish.

She loved the outdoors. Climbing trees. Running and frolicking about.

She also loved the encyclopedia. It was her best friend because she loved to hunt animals. My grandmother said it always concerned her to come home and see the encyclopedia open, lying on the ground.  she never knew what my Mom would bring home

One time she went hunting for field mice. She found a mouse. Brought it home. Played with it. Freaked my grandmother out.  Then she told her to get rid of the mouse because they needed to get ready for Wednesday night church.

During the church service Mom was sitting a row or two in front of my grandmother with her friends.  My grandmother noticed the other girls were wiggly and squirmy. Her words to me, “There was my little Annie sitting quiet and still. I was so proud of her.”

When church was over, she discovered that “her little Annie” had taken the mouse to church, in the pocket of her sweater. She was sitting between several girls so she could take the mouse out of her pocket.  Stick it out in front of the girls causing a raucous among them and making her look like a little angel.

It embarrassed my grandmother to think that my Mom had caused such a scene in church.

The truth is, as parents, we all get embarrassed by our children’s behavior.  One minute we can have the proud parent moment and the next they let us down   It’s how we respond that will make the biggest difference in their lives

Do you say things like, “I can’t believe you did this!  Do you realize how bad this looks on me   What are people going to say about me and what kind of parent I am?”

Or do you say, “I’m really surprised by your behavior and it saddens me.  I love you, in spite of what you’ve done.”

One response makes it about us and puts all the responsibility of the choice back on them.

You can’t make their behavior or poor choices about you. It’s not. It’s about them.  It’s extremely freeing, as a parent, when you realize thi

You never know what he’s gonna say

Have you ever been around someone who just spouts something and you’re not sure if they’re serious or not?

I have!  I married one. I’m not kidding when I say I can’t believe some of the things he says.  Mostly it’s just so comical, I laugh at him.

The funniest part is watching the reactions of people when they’re not sure if he’s serious or not.  Believe me, most times he’s not serious, he likes to see the reaction

Case in point, a few weeks ago we stopped by Black Coffee Shop in Tryon, NC   Our initial intent was to get coffee; however plans changed as we looked at the menu.

Remembering that Alex had visited there a few weeks prior and had raved about the smoothies,  I knew that’s what I wanted.  Terry and Amy followed suit and ordered smoothies as well

I noticed Terry spying the yummy looking baked goods in the case.  Then it happened, out of the clear blue, pointing at the cookies, he said to the gal behind the counter, “Do you think you could give me one of those and let me nibble it like a rat nibbles on cheese?”

She looked at him, not sure how to respond, then gave a little smile and said, “I could give you  sample.”

At this point, I am trying to hold myself together to keep from disturbing the peace.

He did his signature chuckle and said, “Nah, that’s ok but I will take the bear-claw.”

Sometimes, he is hard to read.  It’s hard to tell when he’s being serious or joking.  The dude can keep an arrow straight face.  Beats all I’ve ever seen.  However, when you’ve been around him long enough, you can tell.  You know when he’s serious and when he’s not.

I told you in an earlier blog that he doesn’t shy away from confrontation.  He will call a spade a spade.  He calls it like he sees it.  The only difference is that he does it with this chuckle, which helps to ease his words.

There’s just something about him and the way he is that makes me love him more.  It’s difficult for me to stay angry with him for any length of time, mostly because he’ll say or do something to ease the tension.  It’s the same characteristics that make others love him and want to be around him.  He’s consistently the same.

There’s something very special and unique about his personality.  It’s a very rare trait in today’s society where everyone is trying to fit in with the crowd or trying to impress someone for the first time.

Honestly, I find myself trying to be more like him  I want to be real with people  I don’t want to be something I’m not.  It’s farther exhausting.  Besides, if you have to pretend to be something you’re not, is it even worth the pursuit of a friendship?  I think not

Dr. Seuss had it completely right when he said, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

God’s word tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  In fact just take a look at how Eugene Patterson translates the following scripture

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:13-16‬ ‭MSG‬‬





About me…and why I write

Before I go any further in my blog, I think there are a few things that you need to know about me that will help you to better understand me and why I write.

First of all, I was born in Brevard, NC a small town in Western North Carolina.  After my dad’s death, my mom remarried and we moved to Columbus, NC, another small town. After  small stints in the Charleston, SC area and Bremerton Washington, I moved to Hendersonville, NC in 1992 and have been here ever since.  Clearly, I am a small town girl and the mountains are my home.

It is no coincidence that God has placed me in the mountains because each time I look at them, I am reminded of how much they resemble my life and my walk with Him.

I have been married for 22 years and my husband is the big personality. The one everyone in the room wants to be around. He’s magnetic.  He’s quick-witted and quite the comedian. He’s very spontaneous. He never changes.  He is the same regardless of who’s around.  He’s also direct and never shies away from confrontation. I am one very lucky gal and he’s definitely a keeper.

I have four amazing children, three boys and one girl and I adore them all.  Each one is uniquely different and I can hardly wait to share the lessons I’ve learned through having them.  And there’s also the fluffy, white Sammy dog.  He is currently dubbed “mom’s favorite child”  and there may be some truth to that accusation….maybe.

Writing for me has always been a release.  It’s an easy way for me to express my feelings and then draw a conclusion to what I am feeling.  Honestly, I can’t begin to number the times  writing has actually helped me see things from a totally different perspective.  I love to write and it has been a passion of mine since 7th grade.

The main reason for starting this blog is because over the past couple of years I have been approached by several of my friends who’ve asked or suggested that I start a blog. While I was very humbled and flattered,  I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do. As I began to pray over it, God kept tugging at my heart.  I kept reminding him of all of my inadequacies and He kept reminding me that delaying obedience is actually disobedience.  It took two years for me commit. Yes, I am stubborn.

The thing you need to know is that I am not doing this for any reason other than to bring glory and honor to God.  You see his word tells me that, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which he prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10  (I will discuss in another blog.)  If this is the thing that he has prepared for me to do, then it’s my responsibility to comply.

My prayer is that you will find encouragement and hope.  I also want you to know and see that I am perfectly imperfect and it is only by God’s immeasurable grace that I am where I am today.  Without Him I would be nothing.

All in a day

On Sunday, like usual, we drove to Greenville for church. (Yes, we drive 50 minutes to go to church. I will tell you why in the next post)

Before church we always go out for breakfast. Our customary stop is Tommy’s Country Ham House. If you haven’t been, trust me, you should go.  You will not be disappointed.

After church we decided to go downtown to  Falls Park to walk.  We had been walking about an hour when I suggested we sit down. Luckily we found an unoccupied park bench in the shade and started to people watch. Terry looked at me and said, “How long have we been walking?” When I told him an hour he replied, “No wonder my legs were getting tired.” We rested for a few minutes and decided it was time to head home.

When we arrived home, I started prepping for dinner. As I was finishing chopping potatoes, Amy said she wanted to go practice throwing.  She asked if we wanted to go. Terry was content to sit on the couch with Sammy. Obviously, I was not going to turn down an invitation to go with her.

We arrived at the field, only to find the fence locked.  The only way in was to climb the fence.  I’m standing there looking at the fence thinking to myself, “Oh, I’m not sure about this.  I’m not even sure I can do it.”

Amy was reading my mind. “Mom, it’s the only way in.  You’ll have to climb   Here let me show you.”  She said and climbed the fence with ease.  It was my turn.  It was comic but I managed after about 4 minutes. Whew.  I made it.

Once over the fence, Amy discovered that the throwing implements were not left in their usual place.  We had to climb the fence again.  I thought I would go first because in my mind, I thought it would be easier.  Not.  I didn’t make it the first time; however I did the next time.  I realized Amy was video taping and snap chatting the entire episode.  By the time we got in the car, I was laughing so hard, I was doing the “squirrel laugh” It’s the name my kids have given my laugh.  Normally when it happens anyone who hears it laughs too just because the sound is funny.

As I finished getting dinner ready, Alex and Amy were howling at Terry.  Amy had convinced him to do some snap chatting.  If you don’t follow her, you’ll just have to trust me.  He ain’t right.  He’s like a little kid and says the darndest things. For example, his face was in a rocket ship, and he said, “Oh, I’m in a rocket ship getting ready to blast off. Whee!”  Unfortunately, my description pales in comparison to watching the video for the full effect.

After dinner, we were still laughing over Terry and his silliness. Alex looks at me and says, “How did y’all meet anyway.”

“It’s on my other blog.  Didn’t you read it?” I said

Amy pipes up, “You have another blog?”

“Yeah, but it’s old.  Didn’t keep it going and I’m going to eventually transfer those stories to the new one.” I replied.

“So, are you going to tell us the story?” Alex asked.

Terry chimed in, “Let your mom tell you the story.  She remembers it better than I do.”

As we sat there and I shared our story, I realized I love it more.  It reminds me how fortunate and blessed I am.  I am humbled to I realize how intricately God was weaving our hearts and lives together before we met.

I was also reminded of the sermon we heard from Brad earlier in the day:

“Built to Last”

  • Nothing lasts by accident
  • Everything has sacrifice involved.  It is not cheap
  • It’s never built alone

At the end of the day, we had come full circle.  We had worshipped together.  We walked together. I climbed a fence and Terry blasted off in a rocket ship. More importantly, we laughed together.  Here we sat, at the dinner table as the day ended, with our precious children sharing our story that started 23 years ago. It’s a day that will be etched deep in my mind for a very long time.