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October 30
, 2011

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

Things remembered...
Here I am at my window looking outside.
This year the school bus route is not on the road that goes by our house.
I kinda miss ‘em, if I was outside I would wave and the kids on the bus would wave back.
Right now I’m lookin’ at the beautiful pink moss. It’s the tall kind that I like. The other kind is spread out on the ground.
My Mama loves flowers and we looked forward for spring to come. There were trees of beautiful colors everywhere.
There was one thing we girls, and Mama, didn’t like at all.
My brother had a big Billy Goat. One of the things he liked to do was knock down anything he could, and if our brother was not around my sister and me were afraid to go outside.
When Mama walked out on the front porch, the first thing she saw was the big Four o’Clock plant with pretty little red blooms laying on the ground.
She grabbed her broom and here the goat went.
As I was saying, here I am at my window.

The Last Word:
My sister and I would yell and Mama would come with her broom. The goat would see the broom and take off running.
– O.T.

 

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

How one person can...
It is unexplainable sometimes how one person can have a very dramatic effect on our life. Teachers make an indelible mark upon us and inspire us when we are young. Parents try to show us how to behave and how to succeed in a world even they do not understand
Sisters and brothers share a closeness that sometimes leads to an uncanny connection of the minds like in the cases of identical twins. But there is also an individual statement imprinted on us by just one person, and sometimes in a short amount of time.
My own life lessons have taught me that nobody comes into your life without a reason. They are there to teach us something, or hurt us, or love us, or abandon us. This is what makes us stronger and able to cope with reality..
Throughout our lives we make friends at our workplace, and they do not always carry over to our later years after we leave a job. We make friends at school, and we are lucky to keep any at all. Most of our friendships are casual, but for a few lucky people, somebody comes into your world who really makes a difference.
This is the sort of life-altering friend who makes a big difference, and their absence is extremely painful and leaves a great void when they are gone.
Should they leave us voluntarily or depart by death, they leave us wondering what to do without them. While you are together the bond is strong, but when one is gone, the other is left a bit less of themselves, like a part of their own heart and spirit perished as well.
The changing of summer into fall and then into winter always makes me reflect on those who are no longer with me on this journey. I remember simple pleasures enjoyed, laughter, tears, and unfulfilled hopes and dreams. A walk brings quiet time to think, and thinking brings a bit of melancholy my way of late.
I realize all the facts about the cycle of life, and how it works, so my emotions are unwelcome, and I try to banish feelings of longing for something gone in the blink of an eye.
Life goes by really fast if we do not pay attention. As for me it has seemed to skip along at a rapid pace my entire six decades, and now it is hard to even tell the days apart as they speed by.
The one thing I know for sure about how one person can change your life, is that if you open your heart to somebody, they have the ability to cause great damage, but they also have the opportunity to bring wonderful magic with them as well.
Life is a gamble, and sometimes we just have to place our bet on somebody we love and let the cards fall where they may. If a friend brings laughter and love into your life every single day, you are blessed to know them at all, and this one person can change everything.
Dark moods can be lifted, and replaced with sunlight and stars. We have to be open to our friends hearts with our own. Otherwise we rob ourselves of any possibility of attaining even momentary happiness.

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

Ironing...
Someone told me lately how often she missed the good women of the past, those who did not work but stayed home making home and family their passion. She missed that and named my mother as one of those thought of.
Mother seemed to iron frequently. In the afternoon as I walked through an unlocked screen door on my way back from a day at school, I yelled, “Mama!” She always answered, “I’m here, back in the bedroom ironing, or...”
We knew at 5 p.m. Dad would be leaving work by the sound of a whistle; in a few more minutes, he would wash up, take care of a few activities, and we would sit, the four of us as a family, around the kitchen table. Mother tried to keep the conversation pleasant and rolling. Dad said little as when he was a child with nine siblings, most all gathered around an oval table with no talking allowed.
But back to ironing which I do only as a necessity as a grandma, trying to buy clothes that come from the dryer ready to wear or as Maxine, the humorist, has written, “Buy clothes you can sleep in and then wear somewhere.”
I asked Mother once how she could iron so often. “It’s not a chore when you are ironing for those you love.” Oh, my.
Mother ironed as an artist painted. Seldom did I iron anything but handkerchiefs and pillowcases. Mom may have pressed. I had a neighbor once with an appliance that took the sheet from her as she sat in front and ironed it. I ran home. Surely no one irons contour sheets which iron themselves as they stretch across a bed.
One day when I sat in a chair wearing summer shorts beside the ironing board, as Mother stood on the other side pressing wrinkles from something, it happened. The iron fell off, landing perfectly above one of my kneecaps and forming a thick, perfectly shaped rectangle blister of about two inches in length and one inch think.
We both cried. I carried my scar that made me afraid of an iron for months. Even today, on a most hot day when I’ve been exerting myself, I can make out the scar on my left leg. Mother carried guilt for a long time. To me, it was one of those accidents always seeming to happen, but to my brother, not me.
I hate to iron almost as much as I detest dusting.
Having children and keeping their clothes presentable did not alleviate my aversion to smoothing wrinkles. For a brief time, wrinkled shirts for both boys and girls were popular. Then the girls decided they could out-iron me. Dad’s shirts were sent out for professional treatment. I watched for the ironed need in any kind of clothes and did it quickly on a smooth bed. One uncle said he pressed jeans between the mattresses of his bed as he slept.
It was a memorable night as the youngest was getting ready among family to get to graduation at Coleman Field. My 17-year old baby was graduating. He had a new white shirt to wear under his gown. He wanted me to press it. I started to ask why since the shirt would be subjected to crushing under his white robe. But, this was no time for logic. Time was racing. I placed the ironing board under good light, struck up the iron, and went to work. Right in the middle of the back of the shirt, I scorched it, the imprint of the iron. My son nearly melted and did explode. He finished the task somehow or wore another shirt. I think in anger he may have forbidden me ever to iron anything for him again. I wanted to scream, “No, anything but that. Don’t take that chore away from a loving Mother. I cannot stand it.”
I thought it would have been an appropriate time for an old-time lie, but definitely not for old-time humor. Besides on my list of “mess-ups” in rearing these kids, scorching a shirt was rather low on the list, like washing a red shirt that dyed white underwear pale pink. That eventually took care of itself. I don’t remember the conclusion of the scorched shirt except more relief from a duty I disliked.
Then a few years back, “Everyone Loves Raymond” had an episode with Marie ruining her other son’s good-luck suit he wore when applying for a job. Of course, Marie had to add to her dilemma in embarrassing ways.
My phone rang. It was that graduate of 1988 saying, “Mama, I just saw you on television.”

 

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