National Mom and Pop Stores Day

Before, long before shopping malls, Kmart, Walmart, and on line shopping, most of us older than forty-five might be able to recall their favorite store. Many were owned and operated by mom and pop, aunts and uncles, or grandparents.

The first thing that popped into my mind today was the old country store my Aunt and Uncle owned and operated in Bonanza Arkansas. The one horse town where my mother was born. Where I grew up in Michigan we had local owned stores downtown but we lived two miles from town. We did not have the luxury of a country store.

What a thrill for a young girl of four or five to visit the family owned store. For years it served as store, gas station and post office to my recollection. Seems there was an old pot belly stove that heated the building, with chairs sitting around it. Again, I’m trying to remember back sixty-five years ago.

The one thing I remember most of all was the special treat we would get from our Uncle. Dr. Pepper soda pop. Dr. Pepper wasn’t available up North back in those days. When we would visit every year or so, having one of those cold drinks was a very special treat. Daddy would even buy some to take back home with us. There were held back for special occasions. Now days when you can walk into any store nation wide and buy one, they just don’t seem to taste as good. I still treat myself to one every now and then, which always brings back the memories of the old store and my family.

Sadly so many people will never know how it felt to walk into one of those family owned stores and be called by name. Or what it was like to stay and visit for a while, discussing the world news. No one got mad because someone else had a different opinion. Privately we might have thought that person was a real kook, but no hateful words were spoken.

I miss those days. Days when a soft drink was a treat. When people knew us at the local stores. When we took time to visit with people. When we could have discussions about anything without anyone going home mad.

Maybe with shopping malls going out of business and online shopping taking over, we will see an increase of the ol mom and pop stores make a comeback. Everything that goes round comes around, so they say. So maybe there is hope.

Medal of Honor

NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY – March 25

Today is National Medal of Honor Day.

Created in 1861, the Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor.  It is awarded only to US military personnel, by the President of the United States in the name of Congress, for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

Valor:
great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle

Beyond the call of duty:
means to do a lot more than you are required or expected to to for your job.

This doesn’t mean you get a medal or trophy for showing up or participating. As a group, the last couple of generations have no idea what valor or beyond the call of duty actually means.

More so, as a group, honor hasn’t much meaning. I’ll explain. The greatest generation, and several generations afterward, would have never accepted a medal or trophy for just being in the right place at the right time. There would be no honor in such an act. My father would probably have knocked you on your tail if you had tried to give him a medal for teaching men how to swim during WWII. That was his job. And even though he taught men to swim who were terrified of the water and probably saved many lives in teaching people how to swim, he would have never taken a metal for doing his job.

Just try to remember if you know or see a person that has a medal of honor, that person went beyond their call of duty, facing great danger, and put the lives of others above their own. They faced their own death to help others.

Honor those men and women!

Too Much Fun

My first cruise was a real eye opener. I saw things I wish I could un-see and things I will keep in my mind forever. Granted I’m not young in years but my mind is still fairly young. Remember I was wild and free in the late sixties and early seventies. That should explain a lot. This cruise thing reminded me of such times. Everyone having a good time and not worried about what other people thought.

During our four days on board I had a multitude of random thoughts.

Did you look in the mirror before you left the room?

Wow, you are rocking that bikini!

Man, please put a shirt on!

Honey, some girls just shouldn’t be wearing a bikini.

Wow, what a beautiful dress.

The hallway just moved.

Where’s the Dramamine?

Five more dollars?

Oh hell, it’s only money.

It’s been a long time since I laughed until I cried.

She’s so pretty.

Wow, he’s so handsome.

Conga line, sure why not.

My feet hurt.

My hip hurts.

I could do that once upon a time.

I won! I won!

Can’t wait until I can go on another cruise!

I’m too old for this kind of vacation.

I’ll let you all fill in the blanks. It was a great time. I kind of wish we had taken a longer cruise but when I looked at my swollen feet and ankles last night after I got home I thought maybe not.

The cruise industry has their act together for sure. Too bad the rest of the world can’t live and work like the crew on ships. Life would be so much more fun and polite.


It’s Not 1918,Just Stop It!

The other day I needed to measure 39 inches. I was in a fix as I only had a yard stick. In case you forgot, a yard stick is 36 inches.

So, I cut the first three inches off the stick and glued it to the end. After the glued dried, I took out my ruler which is 12 inches, and laid it down on the adjusted yard stick, and holy crap, the ruler fit three times. Again in case you forgot, 3 x 12 = 36. WTH?

The same theory can be used with this Daylight Saving Time. It doesn’t matter what your clock says, you still only have a certain amount of daylight for each day. Why is that so hard to figure out?

Just pick a time, either Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time and leave it be. Our world moved right along before someone got the idea of moving the clocks forward for a few months then moving them back. Do we really need this in this day and age?

It saves energy they say. We are not living with equipment, appliances, and furnaces of 1918 when this all started. Gives us more daylight. Ya want more daylight, then get up earlier. It’s summer, you’ll naturally have more daylight. It’s for the farmers, they say. Sorry, but I don’t know any farmers that don’t start their day at daylight and work till dark, no matter what their clocks say.

There are more people that suffer physically from this time change than not. Time to stop this nonsense.

I’m One Lucky Woman

This weekend I was reminded just how lucky I have been during my years on this earth. Having lived all over this great country of ours, along the way I have met hundreds of people. People from all walks of life have touched my life.

I have always felt blessed to have friends I have known for over forty years and we seldom see each other but when we do it’s like we were never apart. This weekend I was reminded of that again when I saw a good friend that I have not seen in twenty years. The moment I wrapped my arms around her it was as if those years melted away.

If anyone would ask me who’s your best friend, I would not be able to answer that honestly. Although I don’t have a lot of friends, the ones I have kept all are my best friends for one reason or another. I’ve also been lucky enough to have some from one State meet ones from another State. That doesn’t happen often in life either.

It’s not how great your friend list is, it’s how great your friends are. Although my number of friends may not be many, my friends are priceless. We all love unconditionally. We look over our many faults, forgive our sins, and always keep on loving.

The only reason, well maybe not the only reason I’d like to win the lottery, but if I did, I’d gather up all my friends from far and wide and I’d take us all on a grand vacation together. We would sit around and share stories, drink good wine, eat good food, and laugh until our jaws hurt.

Yes, I’m one lucky woman in more ways than I can count but having wonderful friends is right there on top.

Oh, Hell Yeah!

Not to worry, I’m not going to go off on Hollyweird not matter how much I truly want to rant about the silliness of actors and their fans. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I once was someone that could be star struck. Until I grew up and realized none of them are nothing special, just regular folks that happen to have a job that makes them famous or makes them think they are smarter and better than the rest of us. Nope, I’m not going to comment on the outrageous amounts of money that was spent on something so silly as a big party to say how great we are and pat ourselves on the back. I won’t mention the hideous outfits. Most of them need someone that looks at them and tells the truth, “That outfit looks like you are wrapped in the kitchen curtains.” Speaking of kitchen……..

No, I’m here to tell you, it’s National Chocolate Covered Nuts day! Oh, hell yes! Shouldn’t we have one of these at least once a month or weekly? Let’s face it, for a real chocolate lover, anything covered with the chocolate of your choice makes whatever it is perfect! My husband once told me I’d eat rabbit poop if it was covered with chocolate. Now I draw the line at some things, but I would try chocolate covered insects or such. Why not?

The first time I tried chocolate covered coffee beans I thought I might pass out. My very favorite things in the whole world, chocolate and coffee! Mocha coffee is okay but the coffee bean thing sent me to a very happy place. How can there be so much strife in the world and hate when there is such a thing as chocolate covered coffee beans?

Sadly, because I have had an ongoing fight since I was about twelve years of age trying to keep my weight down, such treats are few and far between. Seriously, if I ate and drank the things that I love, I would be trying out for that TV show, My 600 Pound life.

It’s a good think I live fifteen miles from town, or I would be tempted to run to the store and pick up some chocolate covered nuts to celebrate the day. Instead, I’ll just look at the photo and drool.

Rain and Shine

On the tenth day the people awoke with clear blue skies above and beautiful golden rays of sunshine, warming their faces and souls. And so it was across the mountains and valleys, from region to region, happiness fell upon the citizens. They lifted their heads and said thanks.

A story from Ancient Cultures? No, stories from the Southeast today. I now understand why ancient cultures worshiped the sun. Where would mankind be without the magnificent star? Giver of life, warmth, food, and energy. Causing hearts and souls to rejoice at its beauty.

The old saying, ‘into each life some rain must fall,’ got a little carried away this past month or so. And although we were teased with some half days of sunshine this winter, we have seen more clouds and rain than not.

And so this day started with a promise of sunshine as the clouds slowly disappeared and the sun rose above the mountains to the east. I stood on my back porch and allowed the sun to warm my face. Oh, how I missed you, I thought.

I’ve always been a lover of sunrises and sunsets but today I realized just how much I take the sun for granted. As long as I can remember, it has always been there. Leading me to happy days under its spell. Punishing me with sunburned skinned when I played too long in its light. Making me sleepy when I allowed myself to lie under its beams of light.

But it also gave me hope. Hope that winter would soon bloom into spring. New life would sprout from the ground. Its warmth causing the birds to sing with all their being. Time to mate and bring forth new life.

True, we all have been complaining about too much rain and gloomy skies, yet without these things would we really appreciate the sunshine?

Humans are fickle. When the rain comes we want sun. If the sun shines to hot and long we beg for rain. Cries for snow gives way for pleas for spring rebirth.

No matter what you believe, how you worship, or even if your don’t, remember life is good rain or shine!