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July 10
, 2011

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OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

Summer babies...
As July rolls around, I think of my first summer baby being born. Daughter #3 is truly a middle child…with two sisters and a brother older and two sisters and a brother younger, it leaves no doubt to her rightful claim to the title. Middle children are supposed to be different and ours is no exception.
And even though she had no way of knowin’ at the time of her arrival she would be designated as such, she showed signs of bein’ different from the first.
Ignorin’ what I thought was well laid plans for our children to be spaced at least two years apart, plus the fact that her two older sisters and brother had cooperated almost to the day, she chose to arrive a scant 15 months after her brother, Dwight, made his appearance.
As a result of havin’ no experience in takin’ care of a “summer baby” I almost roasted her, before a friend, older and wiser in such matters, suggested that perhaps the baby would be more comfortable with less clothes – and just might enjoy where the breeze from an electric fan could reach her.
Havin’ decided to come a few weeks before the first of September, she also paid no attention whatsoever to my firm belief that a child should be well on its way to bein’ seven years old before enterin’ first grade. So, she was barely six when it came time for her to enroll. We had recently moved to the Canton School District and she ended up bein’ the only one of our seven children not starting school out with Mrs. Dellis in Mabank.
As I was saying, when July rolls around I think of my first summer baby. She came and set awhile with me Saturday, where the cooler mornin’ breeze could reach her. Happy Summer Birthday, Daughter #3.

 

honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

Love connects us to others...
There are many types of love. We love our dog, we love our house, we say we love very easily. Great poetry expresses the sentiment that nothing compares with being in love. I wonder if love can grow through a crack in the sidewalk, then why can it not find us anywhere?
Personally, I think relationships with significant others need communication on most days. What I really believe about love is that it needs separate bathrooms. And, a woman has got to be in love with a bad man once or twice in her life to be sure she is grateful when she finds a good man.
When people are crying and sobbing over a failed, miserable union, I always try to cheer them up by explaining that a broken heart is the ticket you need to get on the train again when life is once again wonderful….about five years later.
I lose weight when I am unhappy. Give me a broken heart and I will lose a few pounds. When you have love problems you need your friends. Thus friendship can be a time when we can give and ease another’s pain. The refuge of a long talk will not wear out a friendship, and an accessible ear is what makes a friendship so valuable. I love my friends. I do not have to explain anything to a true friend. They know it all already.
Like love, it is best to find friends before you really need them, and remember you can help yourself by finding and nurturing a good friend. I have always been a good one to ask for advice on matters of the heart. I am not sure it is always right but I am very handy with my comments. Then when my friend seems to be following my advice, I panic.
I don’t really need lots of advice but yet I will ask for it, already knowing the answer, but wishing I did not know. My friends have always given me supreme proof of their devotion and love. Nine out of ten times they have a spontaneous dislike of the man I love. I usually tell them they should not be so judgmental. I assure them I am doing the best I can right now. Then I forgive myself for judging their poor judgment.
Trusting in the power of other people who can help you to accept and love yourself is essential. Because without self-love we cannot be friends with anybody else.
If your love is not based on friendship, it will shift and give way. It will become a union like an unknown galaxy from which no traveler has been and returned in one piece.
A few things I know about the love connection are that love liberates you, and the magic of love is a mystery. There is a total battle between the head and the heart. If one is sensible and truly understands love, then there is no room for envious emotion, and only room to grow.
Finally, the most important aspect to any relationship, be it friendship or soul-shattering love, it is not what you receive from the relationship, but what you give to it that matters most. A broken heart is really broken because the dream is lost. It will not stop and it will beat again.
Love must be tended and fed. Nobody feels like kissing when they are hungry. Your soul will let you know when it is time to move forward, and your heart will outgrow old pain and grief. Love and friendship are a silent series of trades. Yet sometimes I feel like a very small calico cat walking among tigers. It is just the nature of the beast.

 

EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

Absentmindedness...
Few restaurants remain where I have not forgotten and left my purse. Sometime I knew immediately. Other times the establishment has called to tell me. It’s not just restaurants but shops, churches, offices, friends’ homes, about any place where I held something else in my hand and merrily left for my car and another destination. Then at times I don’t take my purse from my car to accompany wherever it is I am going to go. Subconsciously, I easily fall into confusion, and perhaps a now grown daughter will retrieve my purse wherever it is, apologize for me adding, “She does it all the time,” and rescues my bag with enough inside to live for a week.
A habit all my life, I find leaving a purse some place can in no way equal a 40-year event I bring to mind about once a month. Going way back in time, when I was Mother to children ages 1, 3, and 5, I visited a friend also with children, letting our little ones play, then left, leaving the 18-month old standing in the friend’s yard.
I remember ushering the two older children into my light blue Pinto, into the back seat, and driving a few blocks to the post office before intending to go home.
As I opened my door, telling the children to get out to go in with me, I suddenly said frantically, “Where’s Bubba?”
The older son said seriously, “You left him in your friend’s front yard and drove away,” (this one probably the smartest in the car) “Why didn’t you say something?” I asked ludicrously. “I don’t know,” said the boy not wanting to be blamed in any way.
Back we went, forgetting the mail, and in the front yard stood my baby, still looking our way, wondering if we would be back, I would surmise.
I jumped from my car, ran to get him, told the friend inside the house who said she knew I’d be back, and walked again to my car, still holding my baby. I couldn’t explain my actions as he wouldn’t understand, and I really had no explanation except I knew Mother of the Year would never be mine.
In 1972, times were not as scary as now. My concern was mostly for a little boy watching his family drive away without him when he really had not misbehaved in any way.
When I confessed to Dad later, he simply shook his head, probably thinking, “This won’t be the last time.”
Then before bedtime, I questioned the oldest again, “What was your brother doing as we drove away?”
He said, “Bubba just stood there, watching us, with the funniest look on his face. He wasn’t crying or anything.”
I cry internally each time I visit this time and place, not one of those times I want to “let go” as I have so many others I’ve given up to time. I need this incident as a reminder of how well-meaning people can make mistakes and to remind me of other unexplainable lessons of life.

 

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