Thursday, September 28, 2017

You Got To Stand For Something

"Now daddy didn't like trouble, but if it came along everyone that knew him knew which side that he'd be on.  He never was a hero or this county's shinin' light but you could always find him standing up for what he thought was right."  Aaron Tippin

Ok let's get this controversial topic started.  Ya'll keep in mind this is strictly MY opinion and it's not the gospel, so don't go and get all offended.  BUT...if you do, just carry on and delete me because this blog is NOT meant to offend anyone but if it does then so be it.

This first sentence said my daddy didn't like trouble.  I'm not real sure how true that was when he was younger but he certainly doesn't like it now.  Any hint that one of us kids is doing something we shouldn't or arguing amongst ourselves, he's on it.  I mean he can shake that finger at me even now that I'm an adult and I still stand up and pay attention.  This crap going on with the NFL right now, I can promise you if me or my brothers "took a knee" on the basketball court, baseball field or football field during the national anthem,  my daddy would march right out there and jerk us right up.  We might even be standing to eat (as he used to say) because we would probably get our butts torn up when we got home.

"You got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.  Never compromise what's right and uphold your family name.  Whatever you do today you'll have to sleep with tonight."  I've always been the type to stand for what I believe.  One particular incident goes back long time when I was in high school.  A good friend of mine was killed in a car accident.  His funeral service was in the afternoon and might run into our basketball practice.   Being late to practice wasn't an option and if we were late, we had to run laps.  Well alrighty then, you would think a funeral would justify being late but it didn't.  We were like 10 minutes late and for every minute we ran a lap.  Dang I was so mad, and I paid the price with those stinking laps, but I stood for something I thought was right.

I know things are different now than they were in my daddy's younger days but I still believe what makes a man hasn't changed.  I am opinionated to a fault but I try hard to do what's right because it's what I believe and not because someone thinks it's what I'm suppose to do.  I've always beat to my own drum and nothing has ever surprised my mama at what I do.   My daddy always said to us you better not start anything but you better not let anyone run over you either.  I've never started a fight, but I think these words is what made me the little fiesty thing that I am.  I will argue to the end if I think I'm right and I've lost a few friends along the way because I spoke my mind.  But, that's OK.  I wasn't trying to change anyone's mind, I just believed one thing, they believed another and I wanted them to see my point of view.  Either way, I stood for what I believed.

My lesson today?  I believe I will go with a quote from Queen Latifah.  "It's not always easy to do the right thing.  But, doing the right thing makes you strong, it builds character, it forces you to make decisions based upon your beliefs and not what other people think.  In life, and in business, you have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone.  But, what makes you a leader is having the courage of your convictions."  So go ahead, stand for something you believe, even if you have to stand alone.

  Love to all,
  Sweet Southern Sass

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Heroes & Friends

"I ain't lived forever but I've lived enough and I've learned to be gentle and I've learned to be tough.  I've found only two things that last to the end.  One is your heroes and the other your friends."  Randy Travis

I heard this song on the way to work this morning and I thought if I were asked who are my heroes what I would say.  I'm sure you're expecting some celebrity or athlete but I'm thinking of two that are way bigger.  The first one is my mama.  Why?  It's simple, she's raised seven kids, made sure we all went to church, raised us in a Christian home, and she's worked her entire life.  Yes my daddy was there but mama seemed to always be the one in charge.  OK, ya'll know what I mean.  She's a strong woman that when she tells you something, you better pay attention.  I've never seen my mama take a day off or time to be sick until the last few years.  That's ONLY because she was in the hospital.  When she was better and we tried to get her to quit working or slow down, her response to us was "I'm not going to sit down and hold my hands, so ya'll need to just leave me alone."  Guess what?  we stopped trying to get her to slow down and we left her alone about it.

My other hero is my sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer about six years ago.  She went through her surgeries, reconstruction and all the other stuff and never complained that I know.   I never saw her cry and I never saw her feel sorry for herself.  I'm sure there were times when we weren't around all these things happened but she never let us know it.  Not even me, the one she calls every day.  She had several things that went wrong during the first year but she handled it all with dignity and grace, doing what she had to do to be strong and get through it.   I think sometimes what would I do if this happened to me.  I'm not sure what I would do but I know for a fact I wouldn't handle it like my sister did.  I would probably feel sorry for myself, get mad because it's happened to me and then throw a hissy fit just because that's how I am.

"Your heroes will help you find good in yourself. They'll stand beside you through thick and trough thin.  And that's how it goes with heroes and friends."   Yep, that's about right for these two heroes of mine.  My mama may not be as quick to find good in me because I am her hellion child, but I'm sure if someone asked her about me, she could come up with something.   My sister on the other hand, she would come up with something right away.  She would probably tell them I'm crazy, but then she would probably burst out  telling them just how crazy I am.  Maybe some day I will ask her what she would answer.  But then I may just leave it to my imagination, that way I can believe what I want.

Since this is about friends too, I have to tell ya'll about my friends that have definitely been with me through thick and thin,  I've talked about them before.  We call ourselves The Birds.  We have had other friends to try and join our tribe as they say but they never survived.  I'm not sure why, but I think probably because The Birds work at keeping our friendship strong and maybe they didn't try hard enough.   Our thoughts are you have to be a friend to have a friend.  We try to get together at least once a month and we try to do a weekend trip a couple times a year.  It is harder to get us all together now because we all have things going on, but again if we want the birds to be there in time of need, we have to be there when it's just for fun.  The phone rings both ways and the road goes both ways, and we all know that.  That's what makes our circle special.  We may not talk every day or heck even every week, but I can promise you these birds will be here for me through thick and thin.  Wait, what am I talking about, they already have stood beside me through thick and thin.

My lesson today?  Stop a minute and think who are your heroes and friends?  If I asked you this question would it be someone close to you or would it be that celebrity or athlete on TV.  Don't get me wrong I have those people I adore too, but are they really heroes?  Do they give of themselves like my mama and sister?  Are they part of a charity and give back to their community?  Do they stand for the national anthem?  Would they be there for you through thick and thin?  I don't know about ya'll but I don't have a personal relationship with any celebrity so I think probably calling them a hero would not be correct.  At least not for me.   If you're lucky enough to have friends like mine or heroes that have been strong, hold onto them.  Make sure you do what's necessary to keep them friends.  Be a friend so you can have a friend because that's how it goes with heroes and friends.

 Love to all,
  Sweet Southern Sass

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mama's Table

"We pull a chair up every night, eat and talk and joke and fight.  Us kids learned wrong from right at mama's table.  It was just some hickory wood and screws.  It's where my daddy read the news.  You didn't put your dirty shoes on mama's table."  The Oak Ridge Boys

With the recent hurricane hitting Georgia this song came to mind because I've stayed with my 86 year old daddy and 81 year old mama the last two nights.  My daddy actually sat at the table with my mama and me last night, eating by the lantern light.  As I sat there listening to them talk about the day without power I thought how blessed I am to still have them.  They crack me up bickering with each other but dang if I had been married to my daddy almost 65 years I would probably be bickering with him too.  This is probably only one of a few times I can count on my fingers daddy has actually eaten at the table.  Not because he doesn't like us, but we are so loud and all talking at once when we're all at the table, it makes him nervous.  Well that and because he doesn't eat enough to keep a bird alive.

Our table isn't hickory but my mama has had it for years.  "It has some faded spots and cracks.  A couple of burns from candle wax.  A memory in each scratch on mama's table."   I'm not sure if the marks on mama's table is from candle wax but I do know there are some white spots where someone (probably me) sat hot food on it.  There are a few cracks which I'm sure is because it's so old and the chairs are in need of repair but hey they still hold us up on Sunday's so I'm pretty sure she won't get new ones until someone falls.  That's just mama.  She's old school and doesn't get rid of anything unless it's absolutely necessary.

"It was the center of the best times I remember, sometimes the only thing that brought us all together."  We eat at my mama's every Sunday so there is always a story to tell.  There are so many of us it's hard for us all to eat at the table at the same time but the ones that get there first get the seats. So guess what?  I'm always the first one there.  (I'm sure this doesn't surprise ya'll)

 Remembering some of these times around this table, I think about making Christmas ornaments, cutting off corn to freeze, hats for the hat derby at my sister's church, Christmas dinners, and New Years Day dinner just to name a few.  I like for ya'll to close your eyes and imagine so if you want to close them right now and just imagine yourself sitting around this big ole table with kids making Christmas ornaments laughing and trying to  decide who has the best.  Of course each one thinks their ornament is the best and believe me my mama makes each one of them believe it too!  Imagine us girls cutting off that hundred ears of corn to freeze and see all the corn splatters all over us around that big ole table.  Yep, I can promise you we have more corn on us than in the bowl, but we're making memories and it's around mama's table.

One verse in this song says the table is "where my brother and I played games.  I just knew he'd gone insane the day he carved his name in mama's table."  I don't remember either of my brothers carving their name in mama's table but I can promise you if they had, they would have to stand up for a week (as my daddy says) because she would have "whooped" their butts.  LOL  However, we have played games around this table, my brothers included.  Probably because they made us because to hear the oldest brother tell it we didn't like him.  He might be somewhat right because my one sister did cry when they brought him home from the hospital.  She wanted another girl.  I mean what in the world was she thinking?  We already had four!!!  We needed a change.

One thing I know for sure about mama's table you always feel the love and one thing mama does NOT allow is arguing at the table.  Wait, what am I thinking, she doesn't allow arguing at all if we try it in front of her.   Yeah we all may be older and have our own families but let me tell you right now my mama still got the power to calm a room with just a few words.  I've heard "ya'll better not be arguing or I can still take the broom to you" as many times as an adult as I heard it growing up.  I never got the broom but my brother that claims we didn't like him, well he did.  Ya'll don't get all worked up she didn't beat him with it or anything she just whacked him across the butt.  She still threatens him with it but it would take a whole lot more than a whack for him to feel it now because he's about three times bigger than his little skinny butt back then.

Lesson today?  I think it might for ya'll to go make memories around your mama's table if you can. Don't put it off 'til tomorrow, tomorrow may never come.  Your memories may not be the same as mine but they don't have to be.  If you can't go to your mama's, just take a minute and remember being around your mama's table.  Remember what you enjoyed most around your mam's table and start your own memories at YOUR table.  Trust me your kids will appreciate it.  Maybe not now if they're young, but when they're my age, they will treasure the good times around mama's table.

  Love to all,
  Sweet Southern Sass