|As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney
Woe is me...
This weeks column was pulled from the As I was Saying archives collection.
There is one Bible verse that seems to have my name attached to it.
You may say it seems to haunt me. Well, the truth is, a whole bunch of em do.
But this particular one kinda sticks in my mind.
It starts out by saying, Make it your ambition to live a quiet life, mind your own
business and work with your hands. And it goes on and says more but thats
about as far as I can read.
Now, I do work with my hands, theres no doubt bout that. Its the rest of
the requirements that I have trouble with. And, I realize if it says it, right up front,
in black and white, one out of three is not a very good score. But I keep tellin
myself its better than nothin and I try harder.
But, while Im daily faced with the fact that my hands do stay pretty busy, so does
my chance for livin a quiet life. Woe is me.
I get to talkin and lose all sense of time and things get worse.
There are times when I even forget what day it is. So, I make another note to myself and
start over then I misplace my reminder.
So, over and over I make another note to remember what Im to do and I start
again...and continue using my hands.
I have projects all over my house and runnin over in my mind. Someday I plan
to get em all done.
So, by stayin so busy I have hopes of living a quiet life. And mindin my own
business will just naturally fall into place, I figure.
But then I glance at the rest of the verse, which says, Do all things just as we
told you so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and you will not
be dependent on others.
And that caused me more problems. You see, there are times when its kinda nice to be
dependent on others.
Like when I cant find my car keys or have a flat.
Or when a whole gang gathers and I can relax and watch as a meal appears on the table and
all that it asked of me is to help eat it.
But, then I read the verse again and I have to face the fact if Im to receive
respect from others I must do all three.
As I was saying, theres one Bible verse that seems to have my name attached. I
Thess. 4:11, and Im still tryin to meet that goal.
View From Here
By Katherine Veno
The sweet things in life do not have to carry a big price tag. They are as close at hand
as a walk or a drive in the country.
They are free, or at least cheap. How much money do you think a perfect picnic at a city
park should cost? How can you beat going to a fabulous estate sale and meandering through
a big old house, and perhaps finding a treasure? For instance, while wandering through an
overstuffed old house full of two lifetimes of somebodys treasures and junk, I found
the fuzziest, warmest, plushest and surprisingly animal printed blanket for chilly nights.
What a surprise it was, and just like that, at $10, a real deal.
I am an estate-sale shopper and a treasure hunter. I am part bargain shopper, recycler and
voyeur. I can think of no better adventure than armed with the classifieds, marching
through the estate sales on a Saturday morning.
Sometimes, I wonder how things that obviously had sentimental value to their owner ended
up on the to sell pile. Why did the family or kids not want them?
Sometimes I feel it is the least I can do for a woman I never met as I go through her
things laid out in strategic places throughout her home. I honor her by purchasing
something she obviously treasured for reasons personal and strong to her, but her own
family did not see worth saving. In a lifetime collection of tiny little glass birds I
chose one bluebird as a token of my understanding. It was not the 50-cent price tag that
drew me to the perfect sheen of blue on the wings or the detail on the painted face of the
bird, but the entire collection that probably extended over the owners entire
lifetime. By taking the one bird, I sent her a message that her work was appreciated.
In doing so, I am reminded that the circle of life is also very much a circle of stuff
passing from one gentle, beautiful character to the next.
You can be carried away on the pages of a good book from the library. If travel is your
dream, sit down with a few travel brochures and imagine. No money to go anywhere? Let your
imagination take you away. Books are beautiful and free at the library.
If, like me, you can still ride a bicycle, let the two wheels take you somewhere and get
some leg toning as you pedal. My pink bike likes to do things, not aimlessly wander about.
Taking out the trash is an errand down the hill and a real workout up the hill. I mean who
can look at us and not smile when you see a little old lady on her bubblegum pink bike
with the big 50s era fenders and white sidewall tires? When we arrive back home I will say
good girl as I put her away at the front of my house.
If you are lucky enough to have a dog, do not leave him or her languishing in the
backyard. Get a leash and venture out in the leaves. The ground is covered in leaves right
now, and dogs love that. Give yourself and your canine pal an afternoon of pure fun and
laughter plodding through the crackle of the fall foliage.
Water has always shaped my memories for as long as I can remember. I can remember a tin
pail my mother gave me to take to the creek to hunt for crawfish. Water is my element. I
love the way the sun shines on the water and a moonbeam makes it sparkle. When water is
angry it can be frightening, but tranquility is the norm for me. When I see a whale or a
dolphin spin out of the ocean and then dive back into the deep blue sea I understand why a
creature that weighs many tons would do such a thing, because if I could do the same thing
and levitate out of the sea like that into the shining sun, I would. What price can you
put on a perfect day at the beach? How much should a moonlit walk by the ocean cost?
A radio seems sort of an antiquated way to entertain one, but when I was a little girl I
got a transistor radio that picked up other countries radio signals. I have never
forgotten the thrill of voices from foreign lands or music I had not heard before. It is a
free delight to turn on a radio and pick up a signal from far away and let myself be
whisked away to a place like Ricks in Casablanca, Morocco. And, I never left my
|Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy
One of the highlights of being a teenager has to be learning to drive a car. Some
watch and observe and have little left to learn. A few want no part of driving. But let a
lad sit on the seat of a tractor, and he sees himself driving alone down any and all roads
in any type car.
Teens and cars are almost synonymous; girls are especially eager today to drive.
My mother taught me to drive in a four-door sedan, a 1953 green Plymouth. I didnt
even think of ever having my own car as a student, but I wanted that license.
Since my husband taught drivers education in the springtime after school hours and
during the summer to supplement his teaching salary, he was the main driver of our family.
He gave the children their lessons, and one by one each found a part-time job and
purchased the first klunker.
Whereas I had been the main transportation for the children to go to school each morning,
I had steeled myself against the spats during the short drive to the
designated spots to let my riders out. There was teasing, griping, forgotten items at home
Id have to get at noon, and more. When I finally reached my own parking place, I
went to my classroom, turning off all the friction I had just endured. As each child had
his or her own wheels about every other year, I found myself commander of my own ship, all
alone one year, with no regrets. My blood pressure reading surely improved.
Today, since my husband has been a patient of back surgery, suffering through tests and an
operation, about six weeks of time, I have been driver No. 1. And it has not helped our
relationship. Dad has a rather clean driving record. Once he rear-ended a car going
backward, thinking it was funny, but it was our new SUV to use for traveling
in our retirement. We were visiting family in Beaumont, later planning to attend the
wedding of a cousin in Houston. Our main accommodations were at a rented home on busy
Highway 105. There was a front entrance no one used to drive through. Then on one of those
little, unpaved roads behind the property, a back entrance led all cars onto the property.
Early Friday morning, my husband went out for coffee, prepared to come back to this house,
but drove past the driveway. Unable to see clearly with the morning sun facing him, he
backed into a grey car going forward. We could still drive our vehicle, but I was
embarrassed and didnt understand why he was amused.
My recent weeks of chauffering have been no fun. First, Ive been treated as a
student, like You can make a right on red if the way is clear. Or, You
can drive the speed limit on the sign you see without getting a ticket. Or,
Keep both hands on the wheel. Or, Have you checked all your mirrors
before you make this turn?
Worse is being treated as the wife. Remarks have been akin to Are you thinking about
what youre doing as you drive? Or, I swear you drive slower on the
highway than you do on this bumpy road to our house. Or, If you keep parking
the car so close to our house, youre going to wipe out all the steps, and Ill
have to jump on the porch. Or, You didnt have time to get a good look in
every direction before pulling out.
Any day now my trophy will arrive, earned by opening my mouth in defense only twice in
these driving sessions. To think of all the flack women have to take about criticizing
mens driving. Maybe its time to change drivers with a recorder running under