Monthly Archives: April 2011

28 Days

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This morning I walked out my door and the instant smell of honeysuckle lingered in the wind. The sun shone down, and I knew May was right around the corner. The weather was hinting towards it.

Then I realized, tomorrow is the first day of May. Wow. Where did these past five months go? After I realized it was May, I thought oh goody. My birthday is coming up. The big one eight.

But then, it really hit me. Graduation is 28 days away.

I didn’t stray from this thought as I normally do. I don’t like thinking about it very much. In fact, most thoughts of graduation scare me.

The closer it gets, though, the less scared I am becoming. I got my cap and gown yesterday from Jostens at school. I even got my honors sash which excited me the most.

However, yesterday I worked feverishly on my last issue of my school newspaper. I was getting in my stressed out mode. I could tell. I tripped over a stack of newspapers, my eye started to twitch, and I knew a headache would soon reach my left temple.

As I worked on it, I wondered…why I am still caring about this? I have 16 days left of high school. Yet, I am still here after school working my tail off.

I concluded that I would never stop caring especially when it dealt with writing. Not only that but I was going to miss it as well.

It causes me to wonder though, am I the only senior who feels nostalgic about graduation?

I know I am about to move on to bigger things. And I know God wants me to do something with writing, but after that is where everything starts get fuzzier and fuzzier making me want to what God has planned for me.

These next 16 days of school are going to a roller coaster between all the AP tests, deadlines, and saying goodbye. In some way, I think every senior is somehow emotionally attached to something or someone in high school  they are leaving behind.

Goodbye isn’t easy. In fact, I guess that is what I hate about it most. However in 28 more days, I’ll have the rest of my life ahead of me. I’ll be an official adult and an upcoming college freshman.

I am scared and excited, but I am going to take the next four weeks one day at a time.

Perspective is a lovely hand to hold

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For the past two and half weeks, I have become more than obsessed with my recent art project. What was just a simple doodle board of my name to put in my dorm room next year evolved into me actually enjoying art.

I begged my art teacher for the past semester to do the doodle project. It consisted of using simplistic Crayola markers and Sharpies to hide five adjective about ourselves in our doodles.

Since our last project involved carving linoleum and me cutting my hand in four different places, it was definitely a change of pace.

My art project went everywhere with me the two full days I worked on it. I worked on it in almost every class, and it took some restraint not to haul it to church with me.

I have gotten to the point where I am now making name doodles for other people because I enjoy it so much.

However this past weekend,  I took a step up from my Crayola markers and began to paint. I discovered I wasn’t so bad when it painting when it came to VBS decorations so I thought why not.

Funny thing is I cannot paint standing up. I find it be incredibly awkward. So for the past three days, I have been sprawled in my kitchen floor painting another name doodle for someone else.

Painting requires perspective though as does anything you will draw. Seeing everything from a different angle helps. Sometimes though, I have gotten too close with what I am working on that I forget to see the big picture. In fact, the image I would be working on would morph into something totally different.

In life though, we get too close to our problems at hand, and we lose perspective. When I paint, I can become so concentrated on one certain aspect that it starts taking over my entire project, and I eventually I have to take a step back, evaluate where to go from there, and try again.

We do that with issues we handle as well except sometimes we don’t take a step back and let it engulf us entirely.

I have definitely felt like that especially in dealing with stuff that’s been thrown at me in life right now. However, God doesn’t want us to lose our perspective.

Relient K puts it best when talking about perspective in their song “Part of It.”

“And when a nightmare finally does unfold
A nightmare finally shows
It’s not the end of the world
Just a calamity
And we’re a part of it
Everyone
We’re a part of it
Everything
And when a nightmare finally does unfold
Perspective is a lovely hand to hold”

In the past month my life has drastically changed. Sometimes it requires us stepping back to see things a different way or perhaps it takes another person to give a new way of looking at things.

We can’t lose perspective, though. When we do, we forget the picture at hand and might miss what God has been trying to show is all along.

Don’t forget the deviled eggs

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A week ago today I kissed my grandmother on the forehead and told her I would see her later. I was going on a spring break trip with my best friend to the beach.  However, I thought later meant the Friday I returned.  Not eternity.

My grandmother passed away the Tuesday I was gone, and we buried her on Friday. Throughout the week though, I have evaluated so much with the main element running through my mind being my grandmother.  I have tried to keep my thoughts as positive as the situation would allow.

The number one thing I thought about was grandmother, of course. My grandmother exemplified everything that a southern woman should be. To most people that doesn’t mean anything, but I like the fact I am from the south and all of the colloquialisms that go with the territory.  

My grandmother was very southern. I am not talkin’ redneck either because that is a different category in itself. I am talkin’ genuine southern here. She used words like “dirckley” and made cornbread that would make you have second thoughts about your own grandmother’s cookin’. It was that good.

She had her own secret sauce for barbecued chicken, and I have been eating her pinto beans ever since I could say the word “beans”. In fact, I used to beat on her fridge yelling “Beans Nanny! Beans!” It’s safe to say she raised me right when it came to the food pyramid.

She could bake anything too. Her fried pies were my favorite. She always made them for me which made me feel extra special, and she would give me a container to hide under my bed full of this delicate pastry that way my father wouldn’t eat them all.

But of all the southern elements I either watched her perform or observed, I learned that hard work was what made my grandmother the woman she was. I am not trying to sound cliché here either. Her life wasn’t easy.  She was born in the Great Depression and dropped out of high school her junior year to support her family.

 I know in her prime she farmed with my grandfather. She made three meals a day, did all the washin’, the cleanin’, the sewin’, and tended the farm.  I know she stripped tobacco and milked cows too. And in her spare time, she raised my mom. (Okay, she actually did take the appropriate amount of time to raise my mom, but she did all of her normal chores with a kid, too.)

Since I have been in kindergarten, my grandmother has lived with me. My family dynamic isn’t normal. Most kids have their grandmother living across town or in a different state. Mine lived straight down the hallway and sat beside me at dinner every night. I have had the opportunity to watch be the Christian, southern woman she was.

I guess you can call her funeral southern too. The sweet melodies of “How Great Thou Are” and “Just As I Am” played at her funeral, and on our way to the cemetery, cars pulled over on the side of the road out of respect. I have known to always do that. In fact, she is the one who told me that when I was younger. I know it’s custom here in the south, but it awed me the short three miles we rode to the cemetery.

The most important element of a southern funeral I would say was the food. My grandmother always made food of some sort for a family whose loved one passed away. A few months ago my mom and I were in Barnes and Noble looking at a book that was the guide to a southern funeral. One of the top items was deviled eggs.

My grandmother never did that for anyone, but when I walked into the funeral home lounge to find a snack, I found what every southern funeral needs: deviled eggs.

For those of you who personally know me or my family, I am not trying to be callous by writing about this so soon so please do not think I am making light of it. Writing just helps, and I am just trying to find the most positive and sweet way to write about a woman who blessed my life in too many ways to count.