Category Archives: Grandad

Jonah turns 6

Jonah turned 6 years old on September 28th. He is a smart, sweet little boy with an active imagination. He loves to help his older siblings and he really enjoyed being a “big” brother while Pipsqueak was here. This is his Kindergarten year and he’s eager to learn to read so he can get his own library card like the big kids. Some days he takes advantage of his status as youngest but most of the time he’s pretty mature for his age. He has several “friends” that he drags around the house with him like his little, satin brown lovey, his Mickey Mouse and his other animals daddy has brought home from trips. His big brown eyes and sweet smile light up my world. We love you, Jonah-baby!

IMG_2082.jpg

IMG_2565.jpg

 

IMG_1601.jpg

Grayton Beach 2015

My parents’ generosity allowed the kids and I to experience another adventure. We left 2 days after Thanksgiving and made the 9 hour trip in their RV to stay at Grayton Beach State Park. This park has a lot of restrictions like no pets on the beach, no walking on the dunes, that kind of thing. Also, you either pay to stay in the campground or you pay by car to visit for the day. The restrictions didn’t bother us and we were thankful for the pristine, peaceful beaches. It was the prettiest beach I’ve ever visited. Even on the weekend days, there were maybe 30 other people around. Filled with plenty of places to bike and walk nature trails, it was an excellent destination for people who aren’t looking for a lot of partying or shopping. There was a Publix close enough and some small little shops around but it wasn’t overgrown or overcrowded. Of course, we were there in December so that could have a lot to do with it. We lucked out and had 3 days that were above 75 degrees. While back home our friends and family were virtually floating away from inches and inches of rain. The last day there the rain caught up to us, so we decided to watch the new Peanuts movie at a local theater.

The kids had a wonderful time. And I enjoyed being with the people I love most in the world. But, I missed Chris (he was bear hunting and working). I also missed personal space, quiet and solitude. With 8 people (5 of them under the age of 12) in an RV you don’t have much of that. Being an introvert has its challenges.

9,312 words and healing

So I am up to 9,312 words!  I should be further along now, according to the NaNoWriMo charts, but I’m pretty excited that I’ve gotten this far.  The characters are coming to me and they are slowly developing.  I’m letting them go where they want to, because as far as plot goes, I really have NO plot.  I have some vague ideas but I don’t know if my characters are going to agree with me or not.  If they are anything like my children, probably not.

It turns out that Chris was too sick to go hunting this week and weekend so we have had some extra, much needed family time. I was able to have some time out of the house alone on Thursday which is always priceless.  Tomorrow, instead of going to church, we are planning on a long drive to find some autumn scenery to enjoy.  Tomorrow night we’ll stay in and watch a movie.  We were driving to Foster’s soccer practice and I turned to Chris and said “this weekend has been so…healing.”  He agreed.

Foster’s last soccer game and end-of-the-season soccer party were today.  He received a trophy and ate some doughnuts, it was a nice conclusion to an undefeated season.  It’s always nice to be the winners.

My parents came over for dinner this evening and I still feel so thankful that they can just drive over for dinner any time.  I’m not sure they’ll bring a dessert to share next time though since my kids ate all the cheesecake before the grown-ups could get any.

Christmas 2012

on why BCBS Cover Tenn sucks…

You know when you are out and about and you come across those people sitting in front of a business with their lawn chair and a big sign that says something like “UNFAIR EMPLOYER, DON’T WORK HERE! THESE GUYS ARE CROOKS!”
The guy (I’ve never seen a woman) looks as if he really hasn’t left that spot in days and could use a shower and shave and possibly some Prozac.

Well, I’ve always just shook my head and thought. Poor guy, no one inside that building cares what he’s upset about and they for sure aren’t going to making any changes to their SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) manual for him. After all, he’s just one man. He’s not really that significant, right?

I don’t want to feel that cynical about businesses or organizations (even “not-for-profit” ones).  After what I learned yesterday though, I really do feel that way.

My dad is sick.  He has been to an Oncologist (cancer doctor) and she has recommended that he get a biopsy done on one of his lymph nodes to see exactly what they are dealing with.  If she doesn’t know what she’s dealing with or why he has swollen lymph nodes all throughout his body then she doesn’t know how to treat him, right?

Yeah, well. Apparently, his insurance company will not pay for him to have the biopsy. And by not pay I don’t mean they will only cover a certain percentage and leave him to pay a giant percentage. I mean they said “sorry you’ve already had 2 outpatient procedures this year so you don’t get no more”. They use poor English because they are retarded. He has had cataract surgery this year on both eyes. That was his 2 outpatient procedures.  So now, because he chose to have those procedures they say they will not pay for him to have a biopsy. 

They have also refused to let his boss buy more coverage and upgrade their plan (which would allow him to have the biopsy) because they say he has a “pre-existing” condition. What’s the pre-existing condition? Who knows. He hasn’t been able to have a biopsy to find out what condition he’s in. The blood work and the swollen lymph nodes and the fluid around his heart, etc. was cause enough for the Oncologist to say “it’s most likely a form of lymphoma”. But she doesn’t know. Because there has been no biopsy.

In light of all of this, I look at the crazy, bearded man in the lawn chair differently.  In fact, next time I will be asking him “where’d ya get that banner?” And what will mine say as I set my lawn chair up in front of their high rise?

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF TENNESSEE “COVER TENN” INSURANCE LIKES TO KILL THEIR CLIENTS

I’ll have to work on the beard though. That could be a little more difficult.

Color-blind

The ways in which I was introduced to race and racism in my life have been interesting.  It’s actually one of those things that I can remember in detail, well, more detail than I do other things.  The only reason I can give is from a very early age I remember feeling those “injustice” feelings.  I have talked in other posts about this, as it related to child abuse.

My dad was born in Morocco, Africa.  He is considered “white” although I got my olive skin, dark hair and eyes from him. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know many details of his adoption.  Basically, he was adopted by my Grandfather Drew and his wife when he was a toddler.  He has mentioned that possibly his birth parents were French because he was speaking a little French.  But he was being taken care of by nuns there and that is a common language there.  My Grandfather was an ambassador for the US and so my dad and his younger sister Eileen spent several of their formative years living in Africa.

When my dad would tell me about his childhood experiences in Ghana, and Africa in general, I was fascinated.  I had been born in South Carolina, lived in Alabama and TN. I had traveled to Oregon to visit my Grandfather and possibly been to Florida, but other than that the deep South is all I knew (know).

When I was around 8 or 9 years old my dad had a friend from Africa stay for a visit at our home.  I wish I could spell his last name, but I know his first name was Sunday.  He was very memorable to me because, first of all, he had the darkest skin I had ever seen in my whole life. He was almost shiny. And he had this weird accent. You know, nothing like we have here in East Tennessee.

Here is what I remember the most about Sunday, his kindness.  He was like 7 ft tall (maybe not) but he would crouch down and look in my eyes and he brought me a gift.  It was a rock.  Did you get that? Yeah, a rock with little eyes and mouth decorated on it.  I loved it.  I named the rock Friday. For years I would tell people “I named him Friday, because a man named Sunday gave him to me on a Saturday.”

That was one of my great experiences with people who didn’t look like me.  But unfortunately, my mom’s dad (Papaw) whom I spent a lot of time with, would use derogatory names for people of other races and would categorize people by how they looked and not who they were as people.  It made me livid as a teenager. I even wrote an article in my school paper about Civil Rights and MLK Jr. (I’ll post it if I ever find it in my garage.)

Now that I am older, my Papaw passed away almost 9 years ago, I can understand that he was really just saying what had been said in front of him.  He had been formed by those negative thoughts and words he had heard his whole young life.

I don’t think people really get what Martin Luther King Jr. did.  Yes, he was a Reverend.  But the power that was his, the opportunities, trials and achievements that came to him were from the same God that we have access to today.  Dr. King was able to change so much for our country.  He had the right ideas, he had the passion, he had the determination.  But he would not have had the success that he had without God being in it.

I challenge you to read I Have a Dream to your children. Read it to yourself.  And take time to thank God for using Dr. King to get His message across.  God is love.  We don’t have to be color-blind. We only need to recognize the color of the Blood.  Without it, we are all the same.

Because you say. ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…
                                                                                         Revelation 3:17

when the apple’s ripe…

Our Thanksgiving was really peaceful.  Our first stop was to my husband’s side of the family for dinner and the mood there was somber for several reasons.  The absence of Granny Grubb was tangible.  Before we ate, Uncle Walt shared some interesting facts about Thanksgiving, then Aunt Faye passed out some poems that Granny had written this past summer.  I was glad that I wasn’t asked to read one aloud, I am sure I would have started sobbing into the mashed potatoes.  The readings included praise to God for all He had done for her over her long life.  Chris ended up reading the last one and it was one to make us all laugh through our tears.  It was so appropriate, she was always ready with a smile.
Granny had a way of looking at things, after talking to her you could actually breathe easier.  She wasn’t dismissive as some people can be when you share your concerns, but genuine and honest, about how much control God had over the situation and how little you did.  One of my absolute favorite memories of her is when I would be in the very last days of a pregnancy.  I would be complaining  talking about how ready I was to deliver and she (a mother of 5) would say, “when the apple’s ripe honey, it’ll fall.” Good point, Granny.
We also have family members that are going through difficult personal trials.  In our close-knit family, each triumphant milestone and painful struggle has a ripple effect on the rest of the extended family.

We all ate more than we needed to and the kids played.  The kids and I loaded back into the van and headed to my parent’s house for the weekend.  Chris and his Dad went hunting. We had a great time at Grammy and Grandad’s house.  The kids helped cook and decorate their tree. I was able to do some shopping (all by myself) which is always wonderful.

Foster putting on his show. He wants to take guitar lessons now.
Brentley, Katie, Ansley, Foster, Theodore and Parker at Aunt Diane’s

 

Foster and Katie helping cook dinner at Grammy and Grandad’s house.

 

Theodore helping cook at Grammy and Grandad’s house.

Showing off their new Christmas pjs!

 

Theodore helping to decorate their tree.

 

The boys picking which ornament should go on next.

I love this time of year, we have gotten most of our shopping done.  Of course, I had to order our calendars for the year from Shutterfly.  My mom called the other day just to say “Well, I was looking at my calendar and this picture of Theodore in his carseat and they just grow up so fast. I know those calendars are a big expense for you but I just really love mine.” Oh so subtle. Of course, she doesn’t know that Shutterfly offers all these fantastic deals and discounts and makes designing the calendars a blast. The Christmas card creating will come next! I love when my friends send picture cards, because we save them and look at how much everyone has changed from year to year. Now, just because I told you how cool they are I’ll get some free Christmas cards to send out. Yeehaw.