Posted in cooking with love, Grandchildren, Grandmother, I love you, Soul Food, Uncategorized

Soul Food by Nancy Malcolm

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My husband cooks with love.  Just ask him and he will say it’s true.  He thinks about what he wants to prepare, shops carefully and then loving cooks each dish….Soul Food.  He says he learned to cook from his Granny because she too, cooked with love.

People often refer to cornbread, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese as soul food.  Food that comforts and soothes the soul; calming and healing as it goes down.  Soul food is premeditated, planned and prepared.  Quite often, soul food is as looked forward to as a gift..just waiting to be opened.

But for me, soul food comes in a different package.  It isn’t creamed or fried.  It isn’t baked or frosted.  It is ingested through other senses and may be as much of a nuance as it is tangible.

Sometimes my grandson will look up at me and smile and kiss my hand.  Soul Food.  His smile and tender touch feed my soul with a warmth and satisfaction unequaled by chocolate cake or sweet potatoes.

Every morning, I rise early and quietly have my ‘sittin ugly’ time.  I fix my coffee, find my glasses and gather my soul food…inspirational reading, pen and paper and a soft corner of the couch…all mine.  Prayers, meditation, and coffee?  Soul food, plain and simple.

Most days I take a walk in my neighborhood or a nearby park.  Blue skies, green grass, and bright-colored flowers all make up my soul food plate.  A scoop of sunshine, a dollop of beautiful trees and a pinch of fresh air…stir it all together and wa la..soul food.

Soul food, food for the soul is always tasty.  It has just the right amount of savory and sweet, for you see, sometimes soul food isn’t what you want…it’s what you need.  Like a friend listening to your heartache and helping you see the gift within your pain.  Or an answered prayer that was ‘no, not yet’, instead of yes, yet turned out to be best.

Whether you cook with love or just love the cook, your soul food is ready for you right on time.  Our creator makes it so, surprising us with a different menu…a variety of tasty morsels, every day.  Look forward to your next delicious bite!  Yum-Yum and hallelujah!

Posted in Uncategorized

Overwhelmed by Ginger Gannaway

img_3117-sam     I am retired, so how can I feel so overwhelmed?!

Let’s blame it on television, the internet, social media, the Republicans, the Democrats, the liberal media, the Tea Party, 24/7 news, my kids, my husband, my 89 year-old dad, guns, toxins, gluten. Whatever.  There is too much “too much” in my world.

I may start my day at 6 a.m. and “sit ugly” with coffee, prayers, meditation, and a  casual list of things to do. I may write a letter or a thank you card.  I will read from Billy Collins’ Poetry 180. I  will walk my dog at 7:08.  Now my coffee is as strong as my spirits …until more of my world wakes up or I open my laptop.

It is all too much!

Facebook minutia floods my head.  I have way too many “friends” and I don’t know the difference between a notification and a news feed and that’s alright by me.

Later in the day the TV bombards me with too much:  DirectTV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and way too many shows recorded for my viewing pleasure.  All of my choices seem cool in theory, but we do NOT have enough time.  And the last time I binge-watched a show (Bloodline), I felt worn out and lazy and guilty and sort of sleazy.  Too many choices add to my “overwhelmedness.”

Also, the options of Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and such overwhelm me.  I strive to stay connected with close friends and my three grown sons and my bro and my sis; however, at times  it is too, too much.

At times I feel like the blind cat Cupid I had as a child.  He was once attacked by a pack of wild dogs in the middle of the night, and my dad awoke to growling and shrieking in our backyard to find three dogs fighting over Cupid with either a tail or a leg in each of their mouths.  Dad shot his hunting rifle into the air and the dogs scattered.  The next morning Cupid was gone, and my parents tried to help me handle my loss.  But five days later, Cupid came limping home, so we cleaned his wounds and pampered him as much as a semi-wild outside tabby would let us.  And Cupid lived to be huge and happy for years and years.

So what in the rifle shot that will set me free and allow me to crawl into the fields and lay low and nurse myself back to a place of sanity and calm?

Just unplug and drop out, some say.  Perhaps that’s my answer, except for my music (my balm that heals all wounds).  I’ll have my paper and pen and books and I’ll stay “close to home.”  I’ll pull back from social engagements and social media.  I’ll focus on my big writing project and give it the time and attention it is insisting it really, really needs.

May I not explode or implode from this overwhelmed feeling!  My “rifle shot” may be the ink on this page.  I may not fully retreat from people and responsibilities, but I just might achieve a simple sort of balance to let me slip away just a lil bit.

Posted in Aging process, Bicycles, Exercise, Old Age, Uncategorized

Ride Like The Wind

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“The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets…”  Christopher Morley

 

I’ve always loved to ride my bike.  I’m a professional amateur.  I have all the bells and whistles, yet I just cruise the neighborhood.

My husband bought me my first adult bike fifteen years ago.  I love that old, green bike!  We’ve taken it to the beach and almost everyone in our family has ridden it at least once.  However,  time, stress and a few mishaps have taken its toll, not to mention that it needs new brakes.

Last year I purchased a fancy, light-weight, thin-tired, sleek-seated, lightening-fast, silver bike.  Then, my husband said I must have the padded biker shorts and loud printed shirt to go with.  Next, gloves were added  because these arthritic hands need the extra padding!

Truthfully, the padded shorts and gloves feel great, but when I get all decked out, I feel a little foolish, especially riding the one mile to our mailboxes.  Oh sure, we’ve taken longer rides and occasionally I ride to the HEB for a few lightweight items (sans the outfit), but still I am an amateur in professional clothing.

I do feel conspicuous in my gear, but what I really feel is exhilarated!  As I pedal through the neighborhood, I may look like a senior citizen in biker gear, pumping the brakes and weaving a bit; but inside, I’m riding like the wind!  I’m blazing new trails and I’m a good twenty-five years younger!
As you pass me by on the streets, don’t honk, just give me the “nod”.  That’s what we bikers do…we’re cool like that.

Life is like riding a bicycle..in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.  Albert Einstein

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Posted in Aging process, Caring for others, Old Age, Uncategorized

Home

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It will happen to all of us, this aging process.  If we are ‘lucky’ enough, we will grow old and eventually need more care, possibly more care than our families can provide.  This is a part of life.

 

Perhaps, we are the ones making choices for our loved ones.  We are making decisions on where to live and how to be cared for.  “This is your new home,” we say.  

 

I see it in their eyes and feel it in the atmosphere; “This is not my home.” they think.  Oh, some people adjust, like Auntie Sue.  She was positive, grateful and kind no matter her circumstance; no matter where she was.  But it is hard for others.  It’s not familiar or comfortable…it doesn’t sound like home or smell like home.  “My heart is not here,” they think.  “I want to go home.”

 

I don’t have a response or even an alternative suggestion; I wish I did.  For it is not always possible to give our loved ones the answers they want.  So, we dig deep into our souls and bring out our bowels of compassion, love and care.  We remember the dignity of others.  We respect privacy and requests for certain things….familiar things.  We do the best we can.

 

Yes, it will happen to all of us, this aging process; if we are ‘lucky’.