Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Lives Well Lived.

This has nothing to do with the South. This has nothing to do with anything you would ever expect to be put on this blog. But this is a post well deserved, and it shall be written. Today was a day of tragedy and yet hope. Today (April 26, 2010) around 6:30 pm Ryan Modrow (18) and Daniel Walters (22) died in a motorcyle accident. We lost two friends, two young men- sons, brothers, friends- in a tragic accident, and yet there is hope. These young men weren't just any young men. They were followers of Christ. The hope lies not in what they have done, but in what was done some two thousand years ago to give us hope today, tonight, and in the weeks to come. The grief is still here; it won't leave for years to come. But with the grief there is hope. They aren't gone. Their lives aren't ended. They have only just begun.

Ryan, I haven't known you long, and I may not know you well, but we had some fun times, and pulled some good pranks on each other. You always had a knack for dropping jokes at just the right time. You had a way of making everyone about you smile when you were doing the same. You were kind and caring, and you are sorely missed. You touched so many lives! Ryan, God had his hand on you, and loved you to the end of the life you lived here on this earth. I cannot even imagine the glory you are experiencing in Heaven. You will be missed.

His sister Hannah on the left, Ryan on the right.

Ryan to the left, Daniel on the right.

Daniel, I never talked with you, but I did know your brothers and sisters. You were greatly loved and respected, and you, too, will be missed. The Lord knew every hair on your head, and your death was not unexpected to Him. He called you home, and I know you will be happy there. There will be no more pain there. No more suffering, no more pain. We cannot understand the ways of God, but I know that what God has allowed to happen was for the best. Daniel, your family and friends love you, and you will always be in their hearts.

I know that we cannot know why they died when they did. But regardless of that, they lived full lives. Their lives were not in vain. God used them to touch so many others. The Bible tells us in James 4: 13-15 that life is a vapor:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city,
spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know
what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that
appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If
the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

And I know that neither Ryan's nor Daniel's lives were empty. Both lived wonderful lives and leave behind many, many loved ones. And these loved ones will treasure their memory forever. You will never be forgotten. The day will come when all will reunite with ya'll in Heaven, and there will be much rejoicing. Until then, we love ya'll.

~God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain. But He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. =`)

A peek at a Southern Ball.

So imagine with me for a second... the old, antebellum South. The elite Mr. Jeffrey Jenkins

recieves an invitation to attend a party held by Mr. George Thornburton

and his lovely wife Millie
and their children John and Annabelle

in honor of their daughters Carolina and Ella May.

And so Mr. Jenkins winds his way through the many oak lined roads of the Southern plantations, coming upon the one that leads to Magnolia Hall, the residence of the afore mentioned Thornburton family.

Eventually coming upon Magnolia Hall itself. Beautiful, isn't it? Just imagine living in one of them things... I bet it was just dandy! Anyhow, we must continue our journey...

The day time find the Porch of Magnolia Hall vacated... there are things to be done... no time for lounging around! There's a regular ball to prepare. Baking to be done, dresses to be ironed and put on, hair to be done, cravats to be tied. Not to mention lectures to John and Annabelle on proper manners... not that they don't know, just a reminder to use them.

And by the beginning of the evening to late in the night we see it all transformed... the gas lights burning, the music playing. Belle's in their luxurious dresses, and their hair piled high on their heads in braids, curls, and ringlets; flowers, pearls, and diamonds (wishful thinking here) fixed in their high stylin' hair. The gentlemen prance about (that sounds mighty funny, hehe) asking all the pretty ladies for a dance, or conversing with the other gentlemen present, dressed to the nines and acting the part of a true Southern dignitary. "Would you like some punch, Miss Carolina?" "Oh, if you would, Mr. Jenkins. Thank you kindly." Waving her fan to cool herself after a sprightly Virginia reel.

Later on it's time for walks in the moonlight at talks in the gardens. "You do look lovely tonight, Miss Ella May." "Why thank you, Mr. Jackson," she says, blushing. "Please may I have the honor of accompanying you on a walk through the gardens on this glorious night?" "You may. Shall we ask Mr. Jenkins and Carolina to join us? I imagine they would love the invitation as well." "Of course we shall, the more the merrier!"
And so the night is enjoyed by the young people of the South as they eat, drink, and stroll through the gardens, breathing in the refreshingly pleasant smell of the magnolias that are budding and blossoming as are our dear young ladies into true Southern Belles.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Heart of Hospitality.

I know that we tend to post rather on the humorous side of things, but this time I would like to break with tradition and post on something that has been much on my mind lately. This is the thought, the idea, the very essence of the very hospitality and kind thoughtfulness that is often spoken of in the South. And the place I have noticed it most is, to me, seemingly the most unlikely. At a Publix grocery store in the retirement city of Florida. Now generally I do not do the grocery shopping at Publix, so this is probably why I never cease to wonder at this, but I am getting ahead of myself...

So yes, normally when I go grocery shopping I prefer to have as little interaction with strangers as is possible, or desirable. So going shopping at Walmart is all fine and dandy with me. No offers to help me with my groceries, or heart felt "Is there any way I can help you?" with a genuine smile to grace the face of the willing associate. At Walmart it's a get in, get out ordeal that really doesn't leave me with anything other than a sigh of relief to be done with the grocery shopping for the day, knowing I'll most likely have to go back tomorrow (because I can ,never, ever manage to remember everything we need even with a list).

But now let's cross the street. Walmart's rival stands there, tall and glorious, surrounded by stately trees spaced throughout the parking lot. Having graced our town a good deal longer than the Walmart next to it, it's still a favorite here and about. What makes it such a hometown favorite? The buy one get two free sales, perhaps? They don't have those too often... so I doubt that would be the key. Is it the everyday prices then? Uh, well.... Walmart definitely rivals them in that... so I highly doubt that. And this I have found to be the key. Once you've gotten to the front, chosen the line with the least miles to stand in, and finally made it to the cashier, you aren't greeted with a monotone "Hello, welcome to -----". Rather you are greeted with a genuine "Hello! Did you find everything you need? Anything I can help you with?". As you are walking out the bagboys (which is like.... haha... ummm.... a loose way to use that phrase, but stick with me and you'll see why)sincerly ask you, "Do you need help getting to your car? Can I assist you with your groceries?".

Now, you may ask (if you're still reading... yes, I know this is may seem like incredible rambling [and probably is] but there is a point), "What's the deal? It's just a store with nice service." Yes, that's true, it is a store with nice service. But beyond that... it's the people. The difference wasn't the store, the prices, the sales, it was the people. And the difference in the people was... age. The people that worked at Walmart were younger... teens, early 20's and 30's. There were few elderly that worked there. But at Publix the staff was made up of... well... old people. And that is what made it so extrordinary to me. These old ladies greeting you with their smiles, asking you how your day went, and taking the time to make you feel special. These old men who really probably shouldn't be lifting all those milk jugs and bags of cans are always willing to lend a helping hand to those around them. And I pondered (oh, I really love that word, by the way)over it for days. I couldn't figure it out. Why was it that it was the elderly that were so eager to serve, when the youth were doing it out of necessity? I still don't know the secret, but my conclusion is this... they know something we don't. They know that it is a joy to serve others with an excitement about you. They know that life is short. They were raised to "ask not what others can do for you, but ask what you can do for others". They know that it is more blessed to give than to recieve. And I cannot and do not want to believe that the hospitality that has so characterized the South in the past is now dying down. But if the youth of today can't see this wonderful concept now, how can it stay alive?

Monday, April 12, 2010

You know you're a Southerner when.....

Hey guys!!! Here it is! I hope ya'll enjoy it as much as I did! Feel free to leave a comment or ten. Many thanks to Andrea P. and Timothy for submitting most of these, and I got a couple in there myself. Thanks ya'll!

You know you're a Southerner when-

~ You know what a granny woman is.

~ You never eat biscuits without butter.

~ You know what a green fried tomato looks and tastes like.

~ You live off sweet tea and biscuits.

~ You say ya'll every other sentence.

~ You feel that as long as you add "Bless his/her little heart" you have the right to say whatever comes to mind concerning someone.

~ You've discovered a Water Moccasin living under your RV.

~ You don't say "Northerner" you say "Yankee".

~ You've whittled down a tree in attempts to solve a hard problem.

~ You wonder what was so funny about the "Ten Commandments for Southerners" post.

~ You've probably set a world record for most bottle rockets set off at one time.

~ Every pair of jeans you own has holes in the knees.

~ Your livin' out the song "Thank God I'm a Country Boy".

~ You believe a man's best friend is his favorite gun.

~ You name all your guns.

~ You call everything "coke".

~ 90% of your diet is deep-fried.

~ You think snow is a novelty.

~ You're a Baptist, your relatives are Baptists, and your friends are Baptists (that covers just about everybody).

~ Your truck is older than dirt and twice as dusty.

~ Copperheads are "just something you have to watch out for."

~ You nonchalantly pull ticks out of your dog's ears, all the time.

~ You've used Duck Tape for every imaginable pupose.:D

~ You have a pocket knife for every occasion.

~ You just knew you got that Cracker House question right, even though the ornery test master said ya got it wrong.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Duct Tape Uses- you know they can be crazy.

In an effort to keep our faithful readers faithful, I shall post something today... give me a few minutes to think of a subject, and I shall post, haha. Ummmm....

Okay, how about weird uses for duct tape? Ya'll can feel free to leave your comments adding to the list.

I have seen duct tape used as the handle for a play shield...

To tape a child to the wall for time out (this wasn't us, for the record)...

To fix clothing in place...

To make play swords...

To repair shoes...

To quiet rowdy children ;)...

The list goes on and on and on.... we'd like to hear what uses ya'll have for duct tape. Leave us a comment and let us know!