Mother’s Day 2019

Mother’s Day is tomorrow.  My Mother is gone. She died December 10th of the same year my Dad died, which was 2010.  Nine years this year.  I miss them both and think about them pretty much every day. Last night I even dreamed of them both.

It was actually a dream in which we were all sitting around a large table having a meal together.  I can’t remember everyone who was there, but I know Mom and Dad were there, Grandma Stewart was there, my Granny Bowers, and my wife.  Maybe it was because I had been thinking about Mother’s day, and about them and many other things in the past right before I went to sleep.  Maybe it’s something else….I don’t know.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the past these days.  I know we should live for the day and in the day, but when your my age, you have a lot more “past” then you do “future” so I suppose it’s natural to spend a little more time there.

I know tomorrow is a “holiday” which has been set aside to honor our Mothers…and our wives who are the Mother’s of our children, but really shouldn’t we do that every day?
I certainly love the Mother of my children every day. Paula Neurauter Bowers and I will have been married 50 years next month on June 14th, and for 49 of those years she has been a Mother….every day.  Our first daughter only lived two days, but Paula held her and loved her, ever so briefly in her short life.  There was a bond formed between Mother and daughter that did not die, and never can.

We’ve been very lucky since then.  We’ve got three great children in Kirsten, Ted, and Matt, and all of their spouses. They have helped us and loved us a lot.

Paula’s been a Grandmother since 1990, and since 2011 has been constantly in care of our youngest grandchildren.  First Eli and Rue, and now Evie and Ellie.  Before that there was Jessy and Auttie, Tyler and Chelsea,  and Olivia Lynn.  We didn’t keep them full time, but we loved them full time and still do…..Paula has more love in her heart for her “little ones” then they could ever know.  (Also her two “doggie” children Hoosi and Daisy) Today we spent some time with Ted and Mel and Eli and our great granddaughter Oakley.  It was very nice.

I respect Paula more than I do anybody for being the Mother and Nana she has been. I think I have told her that on some other days besides just on Mother’s day. I haven’t told her enough…I never could if I tried.

Mother’s day seems to be getting more and more commercial every year like a lot of other holidays. They shame you if you don’t go to Jared’s or Kays and buy her a diamond. I think a lot of Mother’s would as soon to have something their kids made them, than something bought. A crudely colored card with a scribbled “I love you”

My Mom, Evia Bowers.. kept a cutting board I made for her in Vacation bible school when I was eight.  It said “Mother” I think I still have it somewhere around the house. She never used it, just kept it propped up in the kitchen. Guess it’s sort of like the little squiggly drawings I keep that the kids and grandchildren did when they were tiny and gave them to us as presents. We still get them. Mom got a cutting board, but she never lost it.

My Mom was a person who had many problems and privations during her lifetime. She was beset by mental illness in 1960, and battled it off and on for the rest of her life. She was thirty years old that year, and she lived to be almost 81. That’s a long battle. It’s one most people would have given up on, and I witnessed the days that Mom would have given up if she had not had that spark of love in her for her family. That tiny spark which we could nurture and eventually bring her back to us for a period of time….many times for years and years. She was a sweet, loving lady during the “good” times. She loved to cook, took up crocheting, and watched her soaps every day with Daddy.  She was terribly sick the last few years of her life, with diabetes and a detiorating nervous system. She had to have a pacemaker. There were some very bad days. Wearing and wearying days. Days in which I wish I could have done more, would have done more. My regrets are many.

Yet, when I think of her now, I think of her as a young woman. I think of the smell of clean bleached sheets hanging on the clothes line when I was four. I think of the backbreaking work she did filling battreys in the mill on the second shift for years, because we needed the money, and so she could save some money. I think of the trips with her and Daddy to Myrtle beach, and the “frozen yoga” I think of the Italian Cream cake for my birthday. I think of the deep love she had for her own Mother, and the twice a month trips to the Blue Ridge nursing home that she and Daddy took, to take Granny out to eat. I think of how much she really did love my brother Mike and me, and also all her precious grandchildren, the five of them. Yes, I indeed have all of those, and many more, good memories to sustain me, and to which I cling on many days, especially on Mother’s Day.

So, on this Mother’s Day tommorow, show your Mother some love if she’s still with you. Hugs, kisses, and thank you’s…and oh some flowers too if you just gotta! Tell someone who is not a physical Mother, but who has been significant in your life, you love them and you are taking time on this Mother’s day to let them know how much you appreciate them.

I’ll be thinking of my Mom, and I’ll be with my wife.

And lastly Dad…I miss you every day old buddy!

Perception is Reality?

“Perception is reality” That’s a quote I used to hear quite often from the last manager I worked for. It’s not how you really are which counts, but how you are able to present yourself to the outside world, and to the people around you which counts the most. How then, are people really?

How many of us hide secret hates and prejudices in our hearts, but are able to make people “perceive” that we don’t. How many of us really “put on” the airs of Christianity one day a week and are “perceived” as good Christians, but step around beggars on the sidewalks thinking “you outta’ get a job” How many of us wish ill to people behind their backs, but pat them on the back and ask them how their family is doing to their face. Our country is in deep trouble because of the false “perception” of our own greatness…when much, perhaps most, of the world sees us in a much different light.

Different cultures “perceive” they way they wish to live differently than we do and when we try to forcefully install our values on them, they hate us for it. So, how do we change our reality as individuals and as a country? How do we change “perception” being reality?

Mothers Day 2015

Mother’s Day is May 10th. Mom is gone. She died December 10th of the same year my Dad died, which was 2010. I miss them.

I know Sunday is a “holiday” which has been set aside to honor our Mothers…and our wives who are the Mother’s of our children, but really shouldn’t we do that every day?

I certainly love the Mother of my children every day. Paula Neurauter Bowers and I have been married 45 years, and for 42 of those years she has been a Mother….every day. I respect her more than I do anybody for being the Mother and Nana she has been. I think I have told her that on some other days besides just on Mother’s day. I hope I have.

Mother’s day seems to be getting more and more commercial every year like a lot of other holidays. They shame you if you don’t go to Jareds or Kays and buy her a diamond. I think a lot of Mother’s would as soon to have something their kids made them, than something bought.

My Mom kept a cutting board I made for her in Vacation bible school when I was eight. It said “Mother” I think I still have it somewhere around the house. She never used it, just kept it propped up in the kitchen. Guess it’s sort of like the little squiggly drawings I keep that the kids and grandchildren did when they were tiny and gave them to us as presents.

And then there are the women who have never been physical Mothers, but who have helped in the raising, nurturing, and educating of children. These woman should be honored too. Some of us kids had teachers like Miss Grace Hurtt, Dora Bankey, and Ms. Belva Ingle just to name a few, who were Mother’s to many children in their own way. We all know woman like these teachers. They deserve some honor too for “Mothering” many a downtrodden or wayward kid.

So, on Mother’s day show your Mother some love. Hugs, kisses, and thank you’s…and oh some flowers too if you just gotta! Tell someone who is not a physical Mother, but who has been significant in your life, you love them and you are taking time on this Mother’s day to let them know how much you appreciate them.

I’ll be thinking of my Mom, and I’ll be with my wife.

And lastly Dad…miss you every day old buddy.

Will We Fly?

If I could fly, oh if only. Human beings have yearned to fly since they first caught sight of the birds in the air thousands of years ago. Jealous of their freedom.

Icarus and Daedulus tried and failed from getting too close to the sun. DaVinci drew plans for the Ornithocopter, but it never was built. Too busy paint Mona Lisa?

And oh I do know the Wright brothers gave us a flying machine to ride in, but that is not the same.

R. Kelley sang: “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky.”

But it was all metaphorical.

“I’ll Fly Away, Oh Glory” ….but will I really? When I was a child, I used to dream of flying. Not in a plane or copter, but just spreading my arms and soaring. God, those were good dreams. I wish I could dream them again, but it’s been years. When I was a child, I thought and spoke like a child. But now I am grown and must put away childish things. No more Peter Pan, fairy dust and Neverland.

But I do wish I could fly. I’ve had some well wishers want me to give it a try as they have frequently asked me to go jump off a cliff, but thankfully I never did.

I think perhaps when that spark which resides within us all takes leave of this vehicle it is in, I will get my wish. I hope I can at least look back over my shoulder and see the trees and mountains and lakes and rivers one last time. That’s not asking for much considering all the hours I have put in here at the “office” is it?

I don’t think so.

What Life is Like

Life is like brown sugar in the mouth of a baby. Sweet and melting with the warmth of their little bodies. Sticky, yummy and good.

Life is the breeze on which the Monarch rises high into the sky and flies thousands of miles every year in order to propagate and survive.

It is a thunderstorm and an old patched quilt on a front porch swing…and the music of a violin on a sweltering New York City night.

It is a first kiss and a final kiss…and every one in between. A touch or a caress; hurried or languished for hours. Its inconsolable grief and monumental happiness.

It is all of these things. I have seen and experienced them and cry for more! More to come no matter how long or how short, I will bask in them. I will revel in them.

The beat of life…and the beat of our hearts..

It goes on every day. Don’t let it pass you by without noticing. Don’t let today pass you by today without loving it.

In the Midst of Change-2014

An older gentleman came by my table today at Trade Day and was wearing a “vote for Tom Dooley” button. I was gonna’ make some little joke about what would happen if he lost….as in “lay down your head and cry” so I say: “voting for Tom Dooley?” Big mistake. I got a fifteen minute teaching session on what is wrong in America today…mostly consisting of the fact that “America is not adhering to the Christian beliefs of the Founding Fathers” ….”but most of them were deists weren’t they, and didn’t they want separation of Church and State?” “NO SIR..!! that’s entirely wrong!” says he. “Our forefather’s were all good Christian men, and they wanted this to be a Christian country!” A young man who was with him shook his head in agreement. “But I have read that Thomas Jefferson had his own Bible, in which he made changes…and also had a child with one of his own slaves” I said, trying to go against the “good Christian men” theory. “No sir..” he say’s again. “That thing about the Bible is a lie…and that other thing about the slave women….well that was his brother that did that” “His brother?” I said. “Yep, everyone know that his brother was the one that did that and since they proved it with DNA..his brother would have the same DNA, right?” At this point he was getting a little red in the face…and I decided it was time to give up my position. “Well, I guess….” I said. He decided he didn’t want to buy anything and walked off. I looked at one of my other friends who sometimes comes to visit for a spell. “Hang down your head and cry” he said while

shrugging his shoulders.

The Mirror of our Lives

A day rarely goes by that I don’t think about the past. I realize that in most cases it is better not to dwell there, but I don’t believe an occasional visit is a bad thing.

I think of all the people I have known, who are now gone, and the good times we had together. I think of trips I have taken, both alone and with others, and all of the beautiful fragments of this world I’ve laid my eyes on.

I think of the children and grandchildren I have touched, kissed and held in my arms and loved. I have memories of them to visit and smile over.

I think of my wife, who has been on this journey with me for so many years, and how she is such a part of me. My conscience and my reminder to live what I say, and not simply say the things I think I am.

The more we live, the longer we are here, the larger our past becomes. That mirror into our memories is large and easy to stand in front of and endlessly reflect. We do have to move out from in front of it though, and keep moving. Tomorrow is another day, and another chance to build upon the wonderful things we want to put into our library of memories. Oh, I know there’s also some bad there too. Always will be. But we can overcome the bad if we’ll only allow ourselves to do so.

I hope everyone has a safe and great week.