Fathers, Memories

Happy Birthday Daddy


Each year on this, his special day, I thank God for my daddy’s love and example.

Daddy showing off his new birthday shorts
decorated with Jack-0-Lanterns & Bats.

If my dad were alive, he’d be 103 today. And if he hadn’t had a second bout with the horrible Big C, with his good genes, he might have been with us yet. (His dad lived to 96, and the doctors said Daddy had the vital signs of a young man.)
But as it happened, the cancer that started in his colon turned up in his lungs and brain several years after we thought he’d won the war. Before we knew it, he was gone. He lived about six weeks after symptoms set in, and marked his 84th birthday one day before he died.

The longer I live, the more I recognize how blessed I was to have the parents I did. My dad loved life and people. He adored my mother, Will and me, was quick to show his affection, and doted on his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a tease and loved a good joke.
Daddy and Mom in happy days.
Daddy never made a lot of money. Generous to a fault, he gave away more than he ever saved, but he was rich in other ways. I received a great inheritance of love and joy of life.

His Better Boy tomatoes were the best!

A hard worker, Daddy relaxed by plowing his sister’s fields, cutting back hedges and planting flowers. After he retired, he always had a big garden in the back yard.

Daddy in his signature cap

He played the piano by ear and once told me it was the way he worshiped God. I can still see our three-year-old grandson, Brady (now 27), and GangGang at the piano singing When We All Get to Heaven.
I have a feeling he’s playing and singing with a heavenly choir today.

I am so grateful for Daddy’s influence in my life. If I end up being half the person he was as far as kindness, joy for living and perseverance goes, I’ll feel proud. Some of you know he kicked a drinking habit when I was very young and never fell back into it. He worked in AA for the rest of his life. And he refused to give up on those who struggled with addiction problems. He’d tell them, “Get back up. Start again.”

So whatever your struggle or fear, I can hear him say, “Today is a new day. Get going!”

And folks, get your wellness checks. Mammograms may be uncomfortable and colonoscopy preps are the pits, but early detection can be the difference between life and death.
Happy Birthday to all you LUCKY people born on October 3!

It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; 
who conducts his affairs with justice.
  Ps 112: 5

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2014. All rights reserved

Memories, poetry, Summer

Summertime Moments

Life was good at 610 North Pear Street, Searcy, Arkansas.


My last post as Arkansas Women Bloggers’ Miss July runs today. It’s a snapshot of what a summer day was like in small-town Arkansas when I was very young. I’d love for you to follow this link and read it.  Arkansas Women Bloggers


I’m still camera shy.

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2014. All rights reserved

Floor Furnaces, Home, Memories, Mocha

Early Morning Musings

Mocha Time

Driven from bed by a cranky back, I huddle beneath a wooly afghan and wait for coffee to drip into the clear carafe. It’s still dark, so early I had to manually adjust the automatic thermostat upward to awaken the furnace, which bumps and whirs into action.

As I wait for my coffee, I’m transported back to winter mornings long ago in that little white house on 7th Street. Every room, except the dining room, opened into a short hall that housed our very own pet dragon, sleeping beneath a dark grate. When roused and fed a steady supply of natural gas, our faithful friend warmed the entire house with his fiery breath. I can almost feel his toasty blast and see my robe billow out in hoop-skirt fashion.


This grill’s much shinier than our old furnace grate

Before I pour my first cup of coffee, I can’t resist standing over a heat register in the floor. The air forced through its puny gills barely warms my feet, making me long for a sizzling burst from that old dragon’s throat.

I settle again beneath my cozy cover with my own form of mocha—strong Dunkin Donut Coffee laced with Atkins Dark Chocolate Royale Shake. Between sips I study a mug my friend, Billie, gave me.

Its playful script declares:
Friends laugh with you
Friends accept and forgive
Friends are forever
Friends laugh with you

And I thank God for warm memories of that old furnace and friendships, both old and new, that sweeten my predawn hours.

Good Morning To All My Faithful Friends!

A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17