Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving to Christmas progression

Thanksgiving was delightful.  We spent the day at the Byron Williamsons eating, watching the Cowboys, and enjoying the children (large and small).  Our lives are so entwined with the
Williamsons here, in Abilene and at ACU that they are like other special friends in our lives--there in thick and thin, joy and sorrow.

Now comes the unpacking of Christmas--why does it take so long?  Answer:  I have too much stuff to put on the tree and to put out in the house, yet I love it all:  the ornaments, old and new, shiny, and lusterless,  and those that have a story; I love the mantle things that go in the same place each year--the Santas that Pat Phillips gave me along with the glass deer that the Lorenzes and we gifted each other; the Santa's workshop display that the Austin Faculty gave Sam; the singing animations that sit on the coffee table every year which are played over and over by the grandchildren. 

I love the angels, the bears and the mice that sit in the kitchen window--cheap little sets that Sam bought from a school catalog, but which have held up really well.  Then there is the Fisher Price manger scene on the tea table in the bedroom arranged and rearranged each time the kids come.  Plus, I have to get out my collection of "The Night Before Christmas " books to put in the basket by the fireplace.  And on and on...

Monday, November 23, 2009


Yesterday was my 47th wedding anniversary--of course, I have been a widow for 18 years--but the day still comes to mind as a milestone.

It was Thanksgiving, and we had the rehearsal dinner at the home of the Powells--serving turkey and all the trimmings to the guests.  Sam's mom and sister did the cooking.  It was our way of saving money and a time for real celebration with the family. 

Our wedding day dawned beautiful.  The ceremony took place without a hitch.  Rodney did a good job officiating, the singers sang our chosen selections well.  The wedding reception was in the Nelson Parlor.  Sam and I left in suits (his wedding suit, a charcoal gray which I still have in a closet and I in a pink, melon job)  Contrastng it with weddings today, it seems alwfully old-fashioned, but we loved it.  And we took off in our blue Chevy to Brownwood for our first night.  Then on to San Antonio for the rest of the honeymoon--staying in places like Buck's Courts and Holiday Inn.  Maybe that is why I enjoy the Marriot so much now!
Brandon asked me one time why my wedding pictures were in black and white--seems almost another era.

JFK was killed on our first anniversary--doesn't seem that long ago......

Monday, November 16, 2009

Swift Transition

   There is an old song with the words, "Time is filled with swift transition."  This weekend, I really believe it.  My baby turned 40 years old!  He was once a crying, red-haired baby in a crib at Hendrick Memorial Hospital in Abilene.  Born about 6:00 on November 15, he was a joy from the beginning.  Now he is a handsome red-haired robust, chariasmatic man full of fun and life.  I knew him when he would  eat  only raw oatmeal (straight from the packet) and sugar for breakfast.  Now he loves Mexican food, Sheryl's pasta salad and my lasagna.  I knew him when he raised a champion Hampshire pig named Wilbur; now he is raising (rearing) three beautiful children named Maddie, Ella and Sam.  I knew him when he was the drum major of the local Wylie High School Band--we followed him everywhere and loved it.  Now he is the drum major for many cruise ship performers who come to Nashville to be trained for performing on the sea.
   I knew him when he sang to his father from the Sing-Song stage at ACU; now he tells his children "Poppy" stories, and they can't wait to meet Poppy in heaven.  I knew him when he came into Moody Coliseum to tell me that he wasn't going to graduate school, but rather had auditioned at Six Flags Over Texas and was going to perform there.  Now he trains others to perform.  I knew him when he dyed his hair, wore a spangled vest without a shirt and sang  as the major male perfomer on a Norwegian cruise ship; now he enjoys wearing fancy shirts in the Nashville tradition--I can no longer go to the Ralph Lauren section in Dillards and buy him a shirt. I knew him when he traveled and performed in several ACU groups and recruited for the school.  Now he travels and leads the Zoe Group as they inspire and lead thousands of people to worship.
    Some of these transitions  held joy and pain, but for me they were  mostly times of great fun, joy and praise.  I am so proud to be the mother of Brandon Scott Thomas, and I await more days of transition and exultation as I continue to watch him grow in the Lord.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Swift Sells Out

Anyone who watched the first Taylor Swift number on the CMA Awards last night knew immediately that she is striving to project a new image.  I think it is very sad and an appalling commentary on our society when a young girl has to sexualize her image just to sell her music.  Swift was just fine before--after all--she did win the Award!

I hope her fans rise up and protest!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Where is October?

Today is the 3rd of November!  Where did October go?  I don't remember it passing so fast last year--Sadly, the leaves on the trees here are dropping like confetti on a parade.  The wind expected this afternoon will finish some of them off.  We have had glorious color thanks to all the rain--You can't see anything in Vermont and Maine to equal Tennessee in the fall.  I love it!

I had more trick or treaters than ever before--so many beautiful little princesses and tough Spider Men.  It was refreshing to see moms and dads sheparding their little ones from house to house--and some young couples making it a fun night together.

I am loving teaching the ladies' class on Tuesdays.  I am trying to persuade them to write their spiritual autobiographies. One of the things I love about teaching is looking out at the listeners and seeing that some of them are connecting with what I say.  That look is priceless to a teacher.  I was amazed to see how the hymn "Find Us Faithful" has fit so well with our study.  It and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing ("here I raise my Ebeneezer" [raise my memories])have become our theme songs for the series. I'm going to try Precious Memories next week--I don't know how well it will do considering that we connnect it with funerals.

I attended a precious funeral yesterday--the mother of our Doug Sanders.  Her name was Ladye Frank Sanders--don't you love it?
Instead of flowers, she asked that her casket be covered with a beautiful old quilt made for her by her great-grandmother and specified that the quilt be left for Mrs. Sanders' first great-grandchild to carry on the tradition.  Love traditions like that!