Words from a Reader

The “Writing Life Stories” e-mails I receive are such treasures. As soon as I see there is one in my inbox, I read it immediately. I look forward to them and never know how they will touch me. They can be interesting, informative, humorous, and/or touching.

Monday, September 20, 2021

I don't fit in a box, do you?

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that I am a big fan of Maria Kennedy Shriver and read her Sunday Paper every week.

This is from yesterday's Sunday Paper:
"... an “out beyond” category, which is where I find myself these days as well. I’m out beyond raising small children. I’m out beyond a marriage. I’m out beyond being a caregiver for my parents. I’m out beyond being young (but I certainly don’t feel old). I’m out beyond so many of the commitments that used to structure my life. I’m in an out-beyond place that defies description, and that’s both thrilling and scary.

But this I know for sure: none of us fit squarely into a box, even though society wants to peg you or box you in. I’ve never been one thing, and I doubt you are either. I’ve decided to embrace this indescribable space. I am a multitude of things with a curiosity that spans categories. I aspire to engage in a language of politics that’s aspirational, one that’s about service, love, dignity, strength, hope, and unity.

I aspire to be an open-hearted and open-minded writer/journalist that can both inform and inspire. I see my journalism as an extension of my service, an extension of my calling. I call upon myself to be an advocate for the eradication of Alzheimer’s and someone who uses their voice to bring equity to women’s health."

For many years I have said I don't want to be put in a box. In our culture, we are often put in a box according to our age. In other countries, elder folk are revered for their wisdom and honored because they are the matriarchs and patriarchs of the family.

My good friend, Estelle, once said to me, "Don't tell your real age. When you do, people think about the number instead of who you really are."

I think that is absolutely true. Most of us have a stereotype in mind of what a person looks like if he is 70, 75, or 80. That stereotype also includes the idea that anyone this age is no longer relevant. Younger people often discard ideas and advice of their elders because they think the older person's words have no worth to them. 

Although today men and women are living well and working in some capacity well into their eighties. My brother who is over ninety has his own business and worked until last year when he fell ill with COVID. He has not completely gained his health back, but he is doing better all the time. His mind is great and he loves to tell stories about the old days, some funny and some serious. I enjoy those stories and write them down so we can pass them on.

My co-author for Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins, said her doctor said she was in good health for a woman in her mid-nineties. She is fun to talk with and laugh with. We talk on the phone often since we are not visiting now because this virus is surging in our area. 

I have felt the sting of being put in a box by those who know me. When my husband died, I was instantly put into the box marked WIDOW. When that happens your married friends no longer invite you out. Your male friends who are married keep a distance. Soon most of your friends are widows or other women who have your same interests. For me, that is writing. Most of my friends are bloggers, authors, poets, and writers of memoirs. Since I teach memoir writing now,  my students often become dear friends. I am grateful for that. 

Like Maria Shriver, I aspire to be an open-hearted and open-minded writer, teacher, blogger, that can both inform and inspire. No, I am not going to be put into a box. I will grow every day as my curiosity pushes me to learn more and my desire to help others urges me to teach. As long as I can do something in this world that is helpful or makes a difference for good, I will not worry about age. 

Dear Readers and friends, have a great week doing what you enjoy. Be safe.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Self-Care in the time of COVID

Soothing scene of a local golf course in winter

I have been a busy and active person the past week.
I went down to Roswell to work with my sister, Gay, and her husband, Stu, finding appliances for the apartment we are creating at their house. I will be able to go down there and stay for longer periods of time when I have my own space with a kitchen, bedroom, and bath. Lexie will have her pet door and fenced area and that will make things much better for Gay and Stu and for me. They take up their area rugs when we visit them now.

I have gone down more this past year because I can't visit with my friends here at home. Although we have been vaccinated, we are still susceptible to being quarantined if we are exposed to anyone who was around another who was exposed. My friend was quarantined for fourteen days when she was exposed at a church group meeting. 

I and many of my friends are limiting ourselves to family only and only those in our family who have been vaccinated. These past two weeks have brought a huge surge in infections and deaths in my little county here in the mountains. Few people are wearing masks when going out to restaurants and other gatherings. I don't understand the thinking of these folks, but I can only take care of myself as best I can.

Today I read an article on Self-Care and decided to make a purposeful goal of doing better at self-care

"Just because a behavior is good for you doesn’t make it self-care," explains Brighid Courtney, of Boston, a client leader at the wellness technology company Wellable and a faculty member at the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA). "You need to get some sense of gratification out of it for it to be self-care. Although activities such as running or meditating may be good for your overall health and well-being, if you hate them, then they are not considered self-care.” (If you do find those activities energizing and fulfilling, however, they are potential self-care practices.)

My doctors and Physical Therapists tell me I should walk more

Believe me, I would love to walk, but I have horrible pain if I am on my feet for very long and it is pain that does not go away when I stop walking. I enjoy going to a pool and walking in water because that doesn't hurt me, but now with COVID, I don't feel safe going to the pool with strangers. I know you can't catch the virus from water, but those other folks are breathing the warm air that I will breathe, and who knows what they might be spreading? 

Courtney also tells us your self-care routine should make you a better version of yourself. “My rule of thumb is, as long as the activities that you choose are adding to your well-being and are not detrimental to the other areas of your life, then there is a benefit,” Courtney says. “You are better suited to take care of others, foster strong relationships, be resilient, and balance personal and professional responsibilities.”

I totally agree with Courtney. My problem is the things I enjoy and relish in my self-care are mostly sedentary activities. 

Write it down

She suggests we write a list of things we can do for ourselves. Mine will include getting enough sleep, eat at normal mealtimes, spend no more than twenty minutes at the computer before standing and moving around. 

She tells us to "Start by writing down as many things as you can think of that bring you joy, whether it’s the color purple, receiving back rubs, springtime, certain smells, or essential oils."

I do love back rubs and when I go to see my sister, she gives me back rubs. Another reason I will enjoy spending more time there. 

Self-care is more than taking care of your physical health we are told.

“Just eating healthy isn’t enough anymore. Things are moving so fast around us that we need space to self-care and slow down to rest from all the busyness in our lives.” 

I can agree with the slowing down part and when I am home alone, I don't spend my time cleaning my house or working in the yard, but I stay busy with cleaning out files, organizing my writing, going through books to decide which ones I should give away and which ones I just can't part with. 

I enjoy being with people, especially like-minded people such as my writer friends. After an hour or two with them, I am high on life. Did you know that singing is also a way to get high on life?

"Turn up the radio in the car or start crooning in the shower. No matter how out of tune you are, singing can make you feel happier. Choral members who were surveyed said singing put them in a better mood and made them feel less stressed. Singing also can be good for your breathing and posture, as well as your heart and immune system."

Oxytocin is a hormone made in your hypothalamus that causes feelings of love and closeness. When Barry and I sang in the church choir, I floated out on a cloud after rehearsals. I thought it was because I simply enjoyed the people who were there, but now I know it is the singing that changed things in my brain.

Oxytocin improves your mood. Studies show that singing increases oxytocin which gives us a warm, loving feeling.
“All closeness, positive communication, and overall good emotions are connected to oxytocin,” says integrative wellness specialist Frank Lipman MD.

Telephoning Friends

On my list of self-care goals is taking time to call old friends. Although the phone call is not as satisfying as person-to-person meetings, it is good to hear the voice of those who love us and those we love.  Many families meet on Zoom, but my relatives are not keen on that. So, we try to talk on the phone when we can find the time. 

My mother is famous for saying "Don't worry about it."

How I wish I had inherited her calm mind. I get something on my mind that I need to do or don't know what to do, and I get "monkey mind" where thoughts just jump around and won't settle after I get in bed at night. Years ago I was given a small white pill that helped that, but now doctors will not prescribe this for me (or anyone) it seems. For fifty years it worked for me and many others, but now it has been decided it is dangerous. Even my pain doctor will not prescribe it. 

So my self-care attempt is drinking chamomille tea or taking an over-the-counter  medicine that helps me sleep. Sleep is absolutely necessary if you have fibromyalgia as I do. 

One more self-care item for me is to get into my car with Lexie and take a long slow drive on the back roads and hollows here in the Appalachians. We stop and take a very short walk when we find just the right place. That helps de-stress me and is good for her. 

I hope you, my friends and readers, take good care of yourself in the coming week. Let me know how you self-care and how COVID has affected your self-care.

Visit my Writers Circle around the Table site and check out the Roger Carlton page.  www.glendacouncilbeall.com  


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

A fantastic southern humorist helped me get through 2020.

Writing Life Stories is the name of this blog. That is because I enjoy writing true stories about events in my life and about people in my life, present and those who have gone on. 

This past week, a wonderful southern humorist, Jeanne Robertson, died just two months after her husband passed away. She was in her seventies but still going on speaking tours. In fact, she had a full schedule planned for the coming months. One of them was in my hometown Albany, GA. I don't live there now and would not have seen her in person, but I feel I know this woman who was Miss North Carolina. She was six feet two inches tall, the tallest person to ever enter the Miss America Contest. She was nineteen when she was voted Miss Congeniality in 1963. 

During the past year, like millions of others, I discovered Jeanne on YouTube, and thanks to her I have laughed more than I have in years. She is southern and talks with a southern accent, an accent I have heard all my life from educated people. She went to school at Auburn University in Alabama, but she and her husband Jerry were supporters of Elon University in North Carolina. 

I have grieved over the loss of this delightful woman who packed auditoriums with her clean humor. She never used profanity or filthy language. To me, that shows her talent. I once heard Chris Rock say that when he felt his audience not responding to his comedy, all he had to do was curse and everyone laughed. I don't enjoy most of the comics today because they rely on gimmicks and mean-spirited jokes to get laughs. Jeanne Robertson did not do that.

I grew up in a family of storytellers. My father was great and Uncle Jimmy was outstanding. Like Bill Cosby and others of his era, Jeanne used facial expressions, body language, and pure energy to connect with her wide audience. She didn't throw out four-letter words or shock people with her behavior. She took simple actions or words from people she met and people in her family to form stories that I relate to and see in my mind. I laugh out loud. I have found that I can go to bed at night and put on her YouTube videos and watch one after the other, even those I have seen already, and forget the troubles of the day.

Jeanne said her goal was to find humor in everyday things and she encouraged those of us who watched her to look for the funny stories or funny things that happened in our own lives. She said she was not a comic, but a humourist. She was a speaker. She didn't perform in Comedy Clubs. She was paid to speak at conventions and large meetings all over this country. She was an attractive woman even as she aged and her health began to fail. In 2020, she had to stop touring because of COVID and began a show from her back porch. In those shows, her fans interacted and some of the characters in her stories were guests. 

Gay and Stu and I are huge fans of Jeanne Robertson and I am so happy that her stories will continue to be with us online. I plan to purchase one of her CDs or an audiobook. 

You can find her here and on YouTube. I know you will like her and laugh at her funny stories.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

I can't save the world. I can only do so much.

Sisters, June in front, Gay on the right and me, Glenda in red

This past weekend, I finished watching the 2000 TV series Parenthood. Although I watched this show when it was first on television, I watched it with new eyes. Was it being older that made me see this story of a family in a fresh view? Is it because I have lost so many of my family, that I understood the members of the Braverman family so much better now?

The characters make the story for me. I fall in love with them and embrace their flaws as well as celebrate the good in them. This show is filled with interesting characters, as are most families.

One Reviewer said: As a 50 something with grown children this show is so right on. The episode when they found out Max had a real problem was exactly how it went for my wife and I when we got similar news, and the reaction of the grandfather was also spot on. This show is happy, sad, and everything in-between, just like real life.

No one is perfect on this earth, and no one is perfect in the Braverman family. Sometimes conflict comes when one wants to help a brother or sister or spouse. Sometimes the conflict is brought on by an accident or illness. 

For me, this series which ran 8 seasons, was the perfect escape from all the bad news, the horrible sights of suffering and death we see every day if we turn on the television or social media and I was not created to handle all of the world's problems. I can't help the suffering people all over the world and in our own country. With my aging issues, health problems, and financial woes, I can only deal with what is near me, in my community, or in my own family. 

One of the major causes of depression and other mental health diagnoses is feeling responsible or worrying about things that we have no control over. I can do nothing about what is happening in Afghanistan. I am just so happy that someone is strong enough to bring this twenty-year-old war to an end. War is always Hell. This one has gone on much too long and is ending with bloodshed and sorrow for many people. But we will be better for giving that country back to the people who live there. It is not possible to change the culture of a country, thousands of years old, but that seems to be what we were trying to do there.

For my own health, I need to concentrate on good and positive thoughts and put into play what will best get me through this COVID crisis so I can live a productive life. News junkies sometimes thrive on what they see and hear each day, the same stories over and over with the hateful media reporters stirring up the ire of all in their listening audience. 

Maybe it is because I have such empathy for others the horror on the screens is just more than I can take in every day. Maybe that is why a TV series like Parenthood helps keep me sane. It is real. Real people have problems like I have dealt with all my life. I relate and I hurt when they hurt, I celebrate when they are happy. I am fortunate to hear from my writer friends when they are published and I can do something. I can post their success. I can cheer them on and praise them. I can invite them to be guests for our Zoom meetings and invite them to take writing classes.

The daily news depresses me and makes me feel guilty. I feel guilty because I can't make it better. I can't stop the fires in the west. I can't bring back the homes destroyed. I can't stop Hurricane Ida from flooding homes and destroying lives in Louisiana tonight. Even if I had millions of dollars I could not fix all the problems that slam us every single day. 

So I will donate to local charities. I will try to help my church help others. I will lift up my students and encourage them to not be afraid to tell their truth, to leave their legacy for future generations so their grandchildren will know the sacrifices made to keep this country moving in the right direction. We can tell the truth of what happened because we were there and if the history books in the public schools do not tell the whole truth, we can tell it in our stories and in our books. 

Well, I have gone on and on tonight, but Gay is visiting me and we have had two wonderful days together. We did not turn on the television or watch any news channels. All we have wanted to know is how much rain and bad weather we will get from this huge hurricane hitting the gulf coast. Although we are in the NC mountains, we will be affected by this storm. These are my thoughts as we begin another week. 

I hope you all are safe from the flooding, the fires, the devastation of this virus, and that your families are as well. Be safe this week and let me hear from you.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021


Lexie loves to ride in the car. Looks like she is hiding here.

A day late and a dollar short. I heard this saying often when I was growing up. It means too late and too feeble to achieve the desired effect. That fits me right now.

I am a day late writing this post for my blog. Life has been very busy, but also trying at times lately.
I was in Roswell, Ga all last week, but I was busy or under the weather much of the time. Thankfully my physical problems have nothing to do with the pandemic, with this latest surge of COVID, although hospitals in my area are overflowing with patients and there are no rooms in the ICU for them. Ambulances must wait sometimes six hours at the hospitals because there are no beds for the sick. I can't imagine how awful it would be to have a heart attack or a stroke and have no access to the medical services in the area. Some have had to be airlifted to hospitals miles away.

But, I have much for which to be grateful. I am working with Gay and Stu to remodel their daylight basement which will be comfortable and is where I will stay when I go and visit them. This means I can stay there much longer than I do now. It means my little friend, Lexie, will not interfere with their lives as she and I will have our own bedroom, living, dining rooms with a nice large private bathroom.  The front door opens onto a covered deck that overlooks a pretty little lake. With wooded strips on both sides of the yard, I will have almost as much privacy as I do at my mountain house. And the wildlife is tremendous. I once saw a huge owl and deer come through every day. Birds come to the lake and light in the tall trees. Lexie will have her own yard and a pet door so she can come and go when she wants. 

If I ever sell my mountain house, I can move into that apartment to live permanently. This is a relief for me as I have been in limbo about my future. 

Now that I am in lockdown and dealing with isolation again, I think about how nice it will be to have my sister, my brother-in-law, and my niece and her family nearby. 

I am already packing things to take down there. We hope it will be finished by December. 

Last week we had a scare when my brother was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia
This is the second time this has happened since he survived COVID last year. He is a tough one. Back at home now, he is weak, but in good spirits. Perhaps his tough constitution and desire to live is why he is in his nineties now. 

September is slipping up on me too fast!
I will begin teaching a writing class on Zoom Monday, September 26. Those who are interested in taking my class, Writing Memories into True Life Stories, must register with the Institute of Continuing Learning. www.ICL/YHC.org I will teach six weeks, two hours each week, and the cost is only $20. We have such a good time in my classes and we all meet new people and make new friends. And everyone learns what they need to know to write about their lives. Because this class is on Zoom, anyone who has Internet and can get on Zoom will be able to participate. 

Visit my other site, www.glendacouncilbeall.com to learn more about what is happening for writers and poets in our area. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Good-hearted people

These words were written by the late Dr. Charlie Council, in a yearbook at the school where he was principal.  This was written years ago, but much of it is still relevant to our lives today.

Recently as I was unloading my grocery cart at my car, a woman I had never met stopped and asked if she could help me
Perhaps in a large city, I might have been suspicious of this offer, but in Hayesville, NC I knew it was one of my fellow residents of Clay County or surrounding mountain towns who made this offer. 

I often hear people say that is rare in these times, but I find it is not rare at all in my part of the country. I don't look pitiful and unable, but more than once I have had complete strangers offer to help me with my groceries.

I said to the lady who stopped to put the bags in the car, "I never turn down an offer of assistance." I smiled and she said, "I haven't done my good deed for the day so I am happy to help."
We struck up a brief conversation and I thanked her before she went on her way into Ingles. 

My sister tells me she thinks that it is unusual and is not likely to happen at her store in Roswell, GA just north of Atlanta. I think it is kind of people to want to do some simple thing for another person, but it is also impolite and maybe rude to turn someone down when they want to give you help. I am always gracious and appreciative, like my mother taught me, to those who lend a helping hand. 

Once a man came from two cars away to help me with my groceries. He saw me unloading my cart and decided he would help me. I am grateful that I live where I don't have to be afraid or concerned when a stranger offers to help me. 

I think I wrote about the time a woman went out in the rain to bring my car up to the door of the store and then helped me load my groceries into it. I don't know if you have had these kinds of experiences in your town or neighborhood, but if you have, I would love to hear about them. 

I want us to hear more about the good people, the kind-hearted people, the generous people in our lives. We hear and see so much on social media and TV about bad people, unscrupulous people, scammers, and mean-spirited people. 

But I come into contact with far more good people than bad. I don't think I have been singled out to receive kindness and caring from my fellow man. Surely others receive these nice gestures as well

I appreciate the lady at the fast food place who thinks my little Lexie is cute and asks, "Can I give her a piece of bacon?" That was a first for me. At United Community Bank and at Walgreen's drive-through window, Lexie knows she will receive a small treat. She sits on the console patiently wagging her tail in anticipation. I take time and we watch my little buddy enjoy her treat. The lady behind the window and I share a brief moment of joy.

A good friend of mine said, on her blog today, that January 6 when the Capital was attacked by Americans made such an impact on her that she decided to move abroad and live in another country where politics has not divided the population as it has here. I understand and am concerned that anger and bitterness and fear have driven a wedge between friends, families, and communities, but I know our political differences have not turned us into bad, uncaring, and mean people. I see so much goodness in those who differ with me on politics, who differ with my religion, and who don't even speak my language, that I have hope for us. I hope we can bind our wounds and stop listening to those who would divide us, who want us to show the worst in ourselves. I look forward to a day when Americans trust our government and health system and follow the science that will enable us to defeat this pandemic. 

One of my favorite writers and bloggers is Lee Martin. He used this quote today by William James and it seems to fit what I am saying here.
“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”  

Do you have hope for a better tomorrow? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

Sunday, August 8, 2021


Maria Shriver writes about her two daughters and how she is glad they each have a sister. She had no sisters, only brothers. She often felt unseen and unheard in her family. The boys got all the attention.

My older brothers and my father seemed to make all decisions in our family. I know now that my mother had her own way, especially when it came to her two little girls. Mother, quietly, raised us to be gentle, to be polite, to be kind and generous. She set the example. Gay and I had each other and we often say there is nothing we can't do together.

Recently I found a handwritten fictional story I began many, many years ago about my mother's life. As I read it again, I was taken back to those days when she told me her life story. She had a younger sister, too, but when they were teens, it seems Mother developed early into a pretty young woman who caught the eye of boys in the neighborhood. She liked to dance at the weekly parties and one of the boys always wanted to walk her home. 

Her little sister was a bit slower to enter puberty, and though they loved each other, I don't think they became best friends until they were grown and married. They had the same birthday, December 23, but Mother was two years older than her sister. One of my favorite memories is celebrating their birthday each year just before Christmas. 
Lois and Mildred, two sisters, were born exactly two years apart.

My sister is two and one-half years younger than me, but we have always been extremely close. Living on the farm and growing up with only each other, we played together every day. We never had disagreements or fights. We had no jealousy or competition between us. When I see kids fighting and hitting each other in the family TV shows, I can't imagine doing that to my sister.
Gay and Glenda with Dixie, a beautiful dog that belonged to our aunt

Mother was happy when Gay was born because she didn't want me to grow up without a sister. The whole family adored her with her curly black hair and brown eyes. We almost lost her twice. She had pneumonia while still a baby and the doctor gave up on her recovery. Later she had whooping cough. I can still hear the terrible sound of her constant coughing. The disease can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening complications in the very young. I thank the Lord every day that she lived.  

Gay is in dark skirt with her modern dance group at UGA

As a child, I had little confidence and was scared to try new things. While I was a secretive writer who never let anyone read my words, Gay was courageous. In college, she joined the Modern Dance club and one summer she won a scholarship to a dance retreat in New England.

She was asked to enter the Miss Albany beauty pageant. I was impressed when she made her pretty costumes for her talent portion. She impressed the head of the Albany Ballet. He asked her to join the company. She danced with them even though she had never studied ballet. 

Gay is a talented artist who can paint and draw and sculpt.
I have the first full-body statue she created from clay. At my niece's house is her full-body sculpture of Will, our great-nephew. 
On my wall hangs the portrait she did of my beloved mare. It is a treasure that is priceless to me. She has done pet portraits for family members. She brought much joy to others with her visual art.

 I love this little guy who sits in my living room. I am in awe of my sister's talent and ability.

The problem with being close sisters is that people assume we are of the same mind about everything. 
We were often spoken of as one being--Glenda and Gay. My brothers thought we had identical opinions. If I expressed my thoughts on a subject, they assumed Gay felt the same way. That was not and is not always true. We have differences. She is not a people person and I am. She hates to have to speak to a group, and I have no problem with it. She dislikes taking classes, and I enjoy even online classes these days. I thrive on meeting new people. She avoids them being much more comfortable with good friends.

    She dances every week and loves it. 
 She reads far more than I do. I have become an Audible fan. She also writes beautifully. I have some of her words from years ago. I wrote a poem using one of her letters. 
The Pandemic lockdown didn't bother her. She is perfectly happy with alone time. But she is happy she has had her husband, Stu, for almost fifty years. 

My sister has a master's degree in Counseling.
Her friends and family call her or turn to her for help when we are troubled. She has been a Stephen Minister in her church. Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation

When I want to get away and escape the problems of my life, I head to my sister's home and she and Stu welcome me. 

Glenda, the taller one, and Gay

Mother  and Gay 

She is so much like Mother. 
They are both about the same height, have the same smile and kind eyes. She, like our mother, doesn't let worries about the future drag her down. She is good at living in the moment, living today, and not stressing over what may come. If something looms over her, she gets to work on handling it. She has a delightful sense of humor and we find ourselves laughing like crazy when we are together. 

Even sisters who don't get along as children often find that when they are adults, their sisterhood ties them together in a wonderful way. Sisters share a special bond that helps them throughout life if they don't let small peeves and other people come between them. 

Rosemary Clooney sang a song about sisters. Gay and I never had a fight over a man, but I did chaperone her on her first date. 
Sisters, Sisters
There were never such devoted sisters
Never had to have a chaperon, no sir
I'm here to keep my eye on her
Caring, sharing
Every little thing that we are wearing
When a certain gentleman arrived from Rome
She wore the dress and I stayed home
All kinds of weather
We stick together
The same in the rain or sun
Two different faces
But in tight places
We think and we act as one
Those who've seen us
Know that not a thing can come between us
Many men have tried to split us up but no one can
Lord, help the mister
Who comes between me and my sister
And Lord, help the sister who comes between me and my man
All kinds of weather
We stick together
The same in the rain or sun
Two different faces
But in tight places
We think and we act as one, aha
Those who've seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us
Many men have tried to split us up but no one can
Lord, help the mister
Who comes between me and my sister
And Lord, help the sister who comes between me and my man
Sister, don't come between me and my man
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Irving Berlin
Sisters lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC

Web results

This is one of my favorite pictures of my beautiful little sister.


Thursday, July 29, 2021

A Blogger who teaches and writes prose and poetry


The writer, Dana Wildsmith, is a favorite blogger of mine. I have never met Dana in person, but I feel a kinship to her. She lives in Bethlehem, Georgia outside Atlanta, and she lives on a farm, loves dogs and was devoted to her mother. 
She has been to many places writing and working and she writes about her experiences there.
The link above is to a post she wrote while at the Everglades National Park in Florida.

Presently, she is on a writing retreat in north Georgia, and like many of us, she is trying to get motivated to work on her next writing project. If anyone thinks it is easy to sit down and write, even though we love to write, they are mistaken. I think it is especially hard when you write poetry and prose. Changing from one to the other takes time and lots of work. 

I have enjoyed Dana's books of poetry and prose. She teaches a writing workshop each year at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC very near where I live. The writing classes I took at JCCFS from 1995 - 2005 helped me be who I am today. However, it would be almost impossible for me to attend a full weeklong class now. I don't have the stamina I once had. 

Because of the pandemic, they were closed most of last year. Now open again with all CDC guidelines in place, they also offer online courses. Dana is one of the teachers for the online courses.

It is very hot here and almost everywhere in this country, it seems. Climate change is proving to be a concern for all of us. I heard today that Lake Powell out west is falling low because of the drought. What must we do? 

My subscribers to this blog, I hope you are still getting my posts in your Inbox, but if you are not, please let me know. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Looking Back Eleven Years Ago

Today, while reviewing another blog, I came across this interview done by Paula Canup in February 2011. 

It seems such a short time ago, but actually, it was eleven years ago. Rosemary Royston was the program coordinator for NCWN-West at that time. I had resigned after serving only a couple of years because my husband had been diagnosed with cancer in 2008. I had opened Writers Circle around the Table in 2010.
So many changes have occurred in my life since then.

Paula interviewed me and the interview was posted on the Netwest blog.

I enjoyed reading it and loved the comments left on this post, especially the words of Joan Cannon who has passed away now.
What do you think? Didn't Paula do a good job? She is into painting now and her work is for sale. 

Paula Canup