Things You Never Thought Would Happen

 

I have been around for a while now and I like to relate “how things used to be” to my son. Of course, times have changed and it is amusing to think back about predictions from my youth. There have been changes that I never could have predicted years ago.

I played on the tennis team in high school and played ALTA at the South Fulton Tennis Center after I turned 18. My brother always accompanied me to those practices and games. We were younger than everyone else and not from the high society that some there hailed from. That was fine with us though and we had a great time. Most of the people that I played tennis with were professionals, lawyers, doctors, etc. Looking back, they were so nice and accommodating to us. Those were special times.

One of the oddest things that we saw our new friends do was drink Perrier, which we were told was water with an attitude. I personally could not believe they paid to drink this stuff when there were Coke machines on the premises. One day we got a bottle of it and tried it and my brother and I both agreed it was nasty! This was still before the days of bottled water. Perrier was not simply water, so when I heard rumors years later that plain, ordinary water would be for sale in bottles, I honestly could not believe it!

This was simply unfathomable to me and I could not believe that anyone would ever be foolish enough to pay for water when it was free. I laughed so much and I knew this idea of selling bottled water would never fly.  Things have changed so much. Now, I do not drink water unless it is bottled. Ironically, I am drinking a bottle of Dasani water as I write. This bottle of water was part of a case that I paid 5 dollars for and was delivered to my door this morning by Amazon Fresh. I ordered it last night from my iPhone as I lay in my bed. I have to admit that is a pretty decent change!

“Dasani Image”. Amazon website. https://www.amazon.com/Dasani-Bottled-Water-16-9-24/dp/B000T9SZOU. Accessed July 22, 2017.

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Knocking on Heaven’s Door

My former sister-in-law passed this week from cancer; she was only 62 years old. She left behind a husband, two grown daughters, and a young grandson. It made me sad to think of her passing. She was such a sweet, beautiful lady who loved her family. I know she is in Heaven and not suffering anymore. Still, I feel sad she is no longer with us in physical form. As I was thinking of Rennie and especially her struggles at the end of her life, I thought of this poem by Christina Rossetti.

Up-hill

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?

Yes, to the very end.

Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?

From morn to night, my friend.

 

But is there for the night a resting-place?

A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.

May not the darkness hide it from my face?

You cannot miss that inn.

 

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?

Those who have gone before.

Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?

They will not keep you standing at that door.

 

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?

Of labour you shall find the sum.

Will there be beds for me and all who seek?

Yea, beds for all who come.

I like this poem; I find it comforting. It is simplistic, yet it is deep as well. I interpret it as discussing life’s journey. There are actually two speakers who converse back and forth, with the first one asking questions and the second one answering. The traveler asks questions about life’s journey that will eventually end in Heaven at the inn. The second speaker answers with knowledge of the journey. Perhaps this speaker is an angel or maybe just a person whose faith is so great that they speak with confidence of what is. The identity of the second speaker is unknown, but the individual appears knowledgeable. Notice the journey is winding up-hill and will last from morning to night, or from birth to death. I suppose the journey could have spiraled crazily downward instead of winding up-hill, but knowing the sad nature of that direction, I am glad the journey went up!

The traveler is assured that someone will meet her at the door of the inn and that she will be able to rest, as obviously she will be tired from her long life’s journey. She voices concern for those who have gone on before and the knowledgeable speaker reassures her that they will be there as well. The inclusiveness of this poem is something that I also like. The traveler asks will there be beds for all who seek and is assured that there will be beds for all who come. To me, this means that everyone will be welcome. Considering this poem was written in 1861, I find that a relatively modern stance. There are still so many even now who offer that Heaven will be exclusive.

One more notable thing about this poem is the rhythm. The rhythm strikes me as I read it out loud because it is comparable to a person walking or trudging uphill. It is slow and methodical as the poem is as well. This rhythm causes my mind’s eye to be able to visualize the scenery as the weary traveler continues to the top of the mountain. I can almost hear the footsteps and taste the dust of the road. Mary and Joseph were turned away at the inn, but that will not be the case for this Heavenly inn. If you knock, the door will be opened for you. I know Rennie has traveled that road now and our Lord and all who have gone before have welcomed her with open arms.

Works Cited

Gracyk, Tim. “Up-hill” by Christiani Rossetti video on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLnG6ONl9Bw Accessed July 19, 2017.

Rossetti, Christiani. “Up-hill”. The Poetry Foundation website. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45002/up-hill. Accessed July 19, 2017.

 

 

Fantabulizing Fifty

So I hit a milestone this year and turned the big 50. I am not depressed or lamenting, actually I am thoroughly thrilled that God has allowed me to make it this far. Strangely, I hit 50 in January, the same month that my son turned 18. That was an amazing, blessed event as well! Later this year, my Momma will turn 70 in the same month that my Daddy would have also turned 70, if he had lived to see it. You take the good with the sad.

It has been a time of reflection, yet a time to move forward. I finally achieved my masters in American History and a grad certificate in Civil War Studies. I lack one more course having a grad certificate in American Revolution. I am feeling slightly historical. I struggled cleaning hotel rooms, while home-schooling my son, to achieve these goals. Within the last few months, a cousin referred me for a part-time job that for the first time I am using my hard fought for education in an actual occupation. It has been fantastic! I have learned how to network and how to write a resume (my son and I together actually) and I am still seeing where this road will lead.

I am a Civil War and American Revolution historian, or at least I play one on tv. I love history of any type, but especially early American history. Those who know me know that I am a family historian and amateur genealogist. Back before my backwards march up the aisle, I spent a great deal of time on ancestry and digging up dirt on ancestors.

I have always loved to write, but have never taken much time to do it. It always seems there was something else to do. Of course I wrote in grad school, but that was required writing (although I enjoyed it immensely). Some of the jobs that I have filled out the torrential monsoon of job applications over have either been in the writing field or related to it. Some asked for my blog or if I had experience in blogging. I had neither and had never actually given it much thought. My semi-centenarian thoughts now desire to wallow around in print while I continuously adjust direction. This blog will address my journalistic needs. I will probably hit on topics related to history, family, and genealogy. Anything is possible. Most of all, I plan to Fantabulize Fifty as only I can do!!