Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It was more than just a tree.......

By the old house – the house that we call “Granny’s House” – even though my parents also lived there after Granny passed away, stood an old Water Oak Tree.  Several years ago, on a very stormy and windy night lightning struck the old tree and several of the huge limbs fell across our driveway.

Joey Robinson, sweet neighbor that he was, came with his chain saw in the middle of the raging storm and cut the big limbs, and daughter Gale and I helped get the driveway cleared. Normally, the branches could have stayed until daylight but husband Bob had recently been diagnosed with cancer and we never knew if, or when, we’d be making a trip to the ER.

Later, Bob wanted to cut the rest of the tree down, but I begged (on behalf of the tree) to “let’s see if it will continue living.”  And continue living, it did!

We all know that everything is “in God’s time”….and I think God must have decided that the old Water Oak had lived long enough.
                                                                                                                                                             
During a recent storm, I’m not sure if lightning struck again or if the heavy winds took their toll, but most of the rest of the old tree fell. Once again, it was across the driveway. This time, there was no saving what was left. My son-in-law, Dan, cleared the driveway and cut down most of the remainder of the old tree.  

I’m sorry I wasn’t there to say goodbye, to a memory. Once, when the Southern Pine “Today” newspaper published instructions on how to measure a tree to find the age – granddaughter Olivia and I went through the steps. The old tree was at least 110 years old. I knew it HAD to be old – I’m over ¾ of a century and it had been standing there for as long as I could remember.

If the old tree could have talked, the stories I’m sure it would have told! Many children – grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and friends had played under that old tree. We dug in the dirt with spoons and made pies in dishes (that Granny let us have). We used it as a hiding place while cousins searched for us. We sat under it in the heat of summer. 

Mistletoe grew in the top of the old tree and squirrels chased up and down the trunk .into the holes they had begun to call home. The acorns that fell from the limbs were tiny but plentiful and covered the ground, like fine carpet, that crunched under one’s feet.

It was more than just a tree – it was a part of my childhood and of my adult memories and when I sit, on my Front Porch, I’ll miss that old tree with its big roots. I’ll miss the sight of the mistletoe, in the winter. It was the only tree, in my yard, with that parasite.

I’ll remember, so many years ago, little cousins digging in the dirt under that old tree. I’ll remember that cousins shared secrets, under the old tree. I’ll remember that pictures were taken under the old tree. I’ll remember that the old tree with it’s branches and leaves shaded so many family members over the years. I’ll wonder how many stories it had stored in its limbs and branches.

It was more than just a tree.....and I'm sorry I never took a photograph of the tree that was a part of my family history.

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's a Freebie!!!

Ever so often.....we (Mary Cooke and I) get in a "giving" mood.

Mary - who writes as Mary Lou Cheatham called and asked me....."how do you feel about giving something away?" She caught me on a day when I was in a Benevolent Mood! I asked, "what do you have in mind?"  And she said....."let's create some interest in our book.....let's give away some Kindle downloads of Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek!"

"We really need to get people to write reviews," said Mary Lou "and .....well.....they have to read it first!"

So, it was said and so it was decided.....

We'd do a giveaway.....

People like to get "something for nothing"  ....and when that "something" is a good book,,,,,like Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek........it brings a smile to so many faces.

So, from today through Thursday (3/20 - 3/23)....download to your Kindle. Did you know you can also download a FREE Kindle app to your laptop ....or your iPad.

Download Free Book to your Kindle.....or the App on your Laptop or iPad.

We ask that you leave a review, on Amazon, after reading our book.
You don't have to write much....just "I liked it"...."I didn't like it"  ....or more if you have more to say.

We are judged by the NUMBER of reviews...so please, please, please....after you've read it....write something!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

You Were Family

Strange how the death of someone, not in our immediate family, can affect us.

Charlie wasn't in my family - not really - but in a sense, he was. He was married to a distant cousin and he was the youngest brother of an uncle. I know that seems strange. If he was my uncle's brother....why wasn't he related? Uncle James was married to Aunt Alice....my dad's sister. Charlie was a brother to Uncle James.

They were both Methodist ministers and were both the sons of a Methodist minister. 

Our Walker family was close. Aunt Alice and Uncle James were like a second set of parents to me. Their 3 kids were like brothers and sisters to me. So, Uncle James and Charlie's parents were always called "Grandpa and Granny Nick," by me. And Uncle James brothers and sisters included me, as if I was family.

Of the seven children in their family (Grandpa and Granny Nick) five had Alzheimer's! Today, Charlie, the youngest son "finished his journey" here on earth. 

I have to explain that a cousin, by marriage on another side of the house, uses this term for someone dying....and I think it's beautiful. So, I've also begun to use the term "finished his journey" to explain when someone dies. Thank you Dora Hawkins Blakeney!!

Charlie was the last person with whom my husband, Bob, played golf before Bob was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. I hope there are golf clubs, in heaven, and they get to play another round!

Alzheimer's confuses me. We've always heard that keeping the mind active will help to prevent Alzheimer's Disease. However, some of the people who have been affected by this debilitating disease are those who have had the most active minds. Charlie was one of those people. He was a District Superintendent, in the Methodist Church. He had served at many churches and knew his Bible from front to back. Why, then, would he be affected? 

He and Dimple, who was a distant cousin, on my Walker side of the family had been married almost 60 years. They were a beautiful couple and they had a beautiful family. 

I lost a husband, so I can imagine exactly how Dimple feels, tonight. You've suddenly become conflicted. You're so thankful that your loved one is no longer suffering.....but now, you suffer because that part of you is gone. 

Alzheimer's has often been called "the long goodbye".....because suddenly that loved one looks at us with eyes of wonder. Who are you? Who am I?

Charlie (called Nick, by many) will be missed by so many people. People within his family. People to whom he ministered. People in his churches. People.

I grieve for those of us who will miss him....but most of all....I grieve for Dimple. I know how it's going to be. Her family will be there for her.....but she'll still feel alone. Because a part of her is now missing.

RIP, Charlie.....you made a difference in so many lives. You weren't family.....but you were!!






Monday, January 16, 2017



If you've not had an opportunity to read the latest book in 'The Covington Chronicles' ......co-authors Mary Lou Cheatham and Sarah Walker Gorrell encourage you to do so.

Both writers are extremely happy that awesomegang.com is featuring our book, today.

Remember, it's available on Amazon.com in either print or for download to your Kindle.
#travelersinpaintedwagonsoncohaycreek  #kindle  #awesomegang.com  #gypsies


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Free Kindle Book - Giving Tuesday

"It is the early 1900’s in rural Mississippi along Cohay Creek, where people are scarce and stately virgin pine timber is plentiful.

Caleb Smitherlin, a talented blacksmith, has a wife dying of cancer and a teenage son who tries every way possible to please his critical father. Caleb is torn. On the one hand, he loves Mathilda with every bone in his body, but on the other, he needs the company o
f another woman.

The Gypsies he allows to camp on his land near Cohay Creek receive hate and distrust from the people of Taylorsburg. Walthere, the Gypsy leader, and Rosalie, his wife, become close friends of the Smitherlin family, even though Gypsies rarely mix with people outside their clan and especially not gentiles.

Esmeralda, the Gypsy fortune teller, encourages Red Felty’s idea that his wife Ruby and Caleb Smitherlin are having an affair." .............

Would you like to read more about this?


This is just an excerpt from "Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek".....written by Mary Lou Cheatham and Sarah Walker Gorrell.

It's what we call "factual fiction" (borrowed that from another author). It can be downloaded from Amazon, for FREE, on Giving Tuesday!!  (Our Christmas Gift....to you!!)

#GivingTuesday #FreeKindleBook #TravelersinPaintedWagonsonCohayCreek #Free  #Download