Monday, April 28, 2008

Have to add this....

There are times in a person's life when the most incredible things happen....today I got the best present a mother could ever get...I got a phone call from my oldest son! Not only did I get to hear his voice...he said that he wanted to tell me that he knew that I had always felt that I had not done everything I could when he was younger. I have always felt bad that he was caught between me and his father and our crazy insanity. But he told me...and I am crying buckets...that he felt that both his father and myself had done a damn good job teaching him the things that he needed to know and that he would change very little. He had come to appreciate his father in some way and that he knew that he had my strength. Why is it the best presents don't cost a thing?!

I do the craziest things!

I stopped by the house I grew up in on 18th Street. My brother told me that it had burned down and I wanted to see. It had caught fire one night when I was about 13 and I thought that it had been kind of fated. So Greg and I drove down the street and it was sitting there, just like it always had been. I reach back and grab my Nikon, deciding I was going to snap a pic of it to show my family. Well, a gentleman in the house saw my flash bar and came out on the porch. I started telling him how I lived there when I was a girl and so forth and so on. I told them how the house had caught fire one sunday night when we home watching TV...the Wonderful world of disney was showing the AppleDumpling Gang...yes my memory scares me too sometimes....anyway i told them how we all got out.Guesss what? 2 pots of coffee later, we are all on first name basis, I have had a tour of the entire house inside and out, and I have a pictorial essay! They invited me back anytime.

Speaking of my being odd....I have finally found something that can chase me off Mill Mountain. Lightning!!! Saturday afternoon we had this HUGE thunderstorm. It poured! Greg and I went up to the star to see what it looked like and this bolt of lightning came down from the sky, hit that mountain and shook my fillings loose. Gregory is laughing as I grab him and run like heck to my truck! 2 funny! I have always felt blessed but I'm not ready to meet my maker quite yet.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Growing up on Farm

When you grow up on a farm, there are certain realities you learn to face quick in childhood. Thing's like...it is useless to name the animals anything but'breakfast' 'lunch' or 'dinner'. On a farm there is a circle of life that you just learn to accept. You watch little things be born, you feed them, you love them, and they either get sold, eaten, or die. This is not meant to be hurtful...it just is.
Well, I have been partying way too much...so I decided I needed a quiet day. So I went to visit a friend from high school named Liz. I used to go to her family's dairy farm and buy the baby calves when I was younger. Liz's dad would sell me one for $10. Calves are part of getting the milk. because a cow has to get pregnant to produce milk, but the farmer wants the milk, he doesn't want the baby calf to drink it. So the calf goes elsewhere. They either get bought by someone like me. I got up at 5 am and mixed milk and fed my babies before I went to school. I did this for months til they could eat on their own. I raised them and then while I was at school. my father would sell them and keep the money.....I was a sap! I would get pissed and swear I was never going do it again,,,and then I did.
But for the other baby calves, they were housed in these little spaces that are basically dog houses. Small confining pens so that the calves couldn't move. This was so that they did not develop muscle. The calves were sold for veal. I always got upset over this...I always wanted to save them all....but I never had enough money when I was a kid!!
So Where was I? Oh I went to visit Liz. So as I walk into the barn..the smells...the sights...I have been waxing sentimental this entire trip, my emotions just hovering. Because you can go back to the place...but you can never go back to the time....you can never capture what you've lost....that love, that friendship, that smile...it's a memory. And it has all haunted me this trip. I torture myself.
Well, as I walk into the barn...there in the barnyard are like 200 of these little veal confining huts. The way I started crying and carrying on you would have thought I was walking thru a Jewish concentration camp or on the memorial for the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor. Mr. N looked at me like I had lost my marbles. My brain knew I was being a complete dope too. It is the life on a farm and I knew that, but it seemed so unfair to me. But the thing that scared me...I was reaching for my checkbook and trying to figure out where I could keep 200 holstein calves....could I get them in a UHAUL? Go ahead laugh...that was the point...I am special! but does anybody want one? ok so you know what you're gonna get for your birthday this year!!! I love you ewes guys

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The definition of PEACE!

Hi guys......I miss you all, really I do! But I, as of this very moment, have such a sense of peace in my soul. Today I did nothing of note. I slept in....my dad made me breakfast, I sat and talked with the woman who will be my new step mother, visited a friend, and I went to Walmart with my sister. I saw a beautiful rainbow after a torrential downpour and I saw 2 does....deer nibbling new grass at the roadside. Believe me when I tell you it could not have been a better day. Well maybe, if I could have had my 'brothers' with me. Baby steps..... I want to tell you a story about one of my brothers.....I have or rather, I had 2 brothers...siblings...two males who shared a parent(s) with me...Wayne who I lost almost 2o years ago and Bubba....the apple of my eye! the biggest and the best baby brother a gal could have.....however when I say 'brothers'..I also mean the poor saps who I have adopted...in total there have been or rather there are...4 of them. David and Vince who saved my sanity and my life respectively. I can't tell that story until I have sat them down and told them what I need to.....I've danced all around it with them both but I never feel as if I gotten them to understand.....hopefully I will get the chance, SOMEDAY....then there's Martin...we went to high school together. I adopted him because it gave me the chance to do for him for the great things that had been done for me....a giving back, if you will. Martin and I shared a great loss and it sealed us together as the heads and tails of a coin. And finally my Steve! This story I will tell....this story makes me laugh and makes me cry.....but it is some story, and it starts in SE Roanoke in 1975....I was in the fifth grade at Jamison Avenue Elementary school...I was a piece of work....introverted...yes ME! I walked around my neighborhood readng a book, never making eye contact...your basic shadow. The kids in the 'hood called me retarded and other things. There was a lil mom and pop store on the corner...W's Market. As I walked home from school most days I stopped in to grab a little Debbie cake, I think they were a quarter or something back then. The building is still there...right on the corner of 18th street and Jamison Avenue. I lived a block from Fallon Park. So Mr. W ran the store and he had a son, named Steve. Steve was a social outcast like me, he laughs when I say this....cause it's true. Kids can be such jerks. Steve was also ridiculed and taunted because of his weight. But when Steve and I would talk his eyes would make you feel so at ease, like a warn towel from the dryer. I wanted to protect from the little shits at school but he always said if a girl fought his battles it would be worse. So we endured. Sometimes Steve would walk with me home from school and then I would walk back to the store with him because he would have to work there. While he was working, I would walk and read. When Steve would come to my house, my mom would make such a fuss over him. She had lots of practice making a teased kid feel good...I was the object of everyone's torment and she always took me in her arms and made me feel better. So she could make Steve brighten up. I remember once when he came home with me and she was in the kitchen and she yelled for us to come to her. She told us to sit down and she gave us homemade cookies and milk.....Steve said, 'shouldn't', he was too fat already. Mom said.. 'what are you taling about? You're a growing boy and one day you're gonna be tall and lean, you need the strength to grow.' He smiled at her and wolfed down the cookies, then we were off to play. As things happen, Steve and I didn't have long to be playmates. His Dad got sick and had to sell the store and they moved. We did what we could but we grew apart. Until August 22th, 1987. That is the day my mom died. I'm not gonna go into great detail because as I sit here at home in Virginia the tears are way too close to the surface anyways. Just believe when I tell you....it was the day from hell....my only comfort was that my mother's pain was eased. But by the time I got there from Massachusetts she was gone. I walked into the house to a crowd of family waiting for me. My father called me to his side and turned to a tall handsome young man at his side and said, Brenda I think you know this gentleman. I looked at him, I stared at him. I didn't know a minster. Suddenly in his eyes I found the friend that I had lost so many years before. I felt that warmth wrap around me. I couldn't not believe it as my father told me how Steve had been ministering to my mom for about 6 months and how my mother, we spoke on the phone daily, had not mentioned this to me. It was a strange course of events. And truthfully now...it's a blur. Except for 2 things....my brother Wayne's departure from our mother funeral.....which I'll spare you all for now and second, what Steve said as he preached her funeral. I sat there and listen to him describe her as kind woman who share her joy with many. That even when he first met her that he knew she was a gentle soul because of the way she had raised me. That I had been a blessing in his life when he needed a friend. He suddenly began to relay the story of that day. The day of the cookies and how when she had first seen him after nearly a decade the first thing she said was...'See I told you....Tall and lean...you just needed a few cookies to give you the strength to grow.' He told how he sat at her bedside and laid his head on her arm and cried and she toused his hair. After the service I could only weep into his arms. Now...I bet about now you are trying to guess why I have gone on for so long about such a simple subject....well....if you remember I started telling you about my brothers...and how they each mean something to me...and how I HOPE I mean something to then.....well....Steve is dying....he has a degenerative disease from which there is no return. He does not complain, he feels he has completed his life's work...I do not, his wife does not, and his children certainly do not....but we have no say. I have spent all this time and all this energy to tell you one little thing.....Peace.....Pray for peace....Pray for my 'brother' Steve. He has found his peace...we are working on ours. God bless.....it's good to be home.
P.S I have tons of pics and movies...but I'm using dial up so....when I get the time.....smooches

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


May the light from your souls illuminate the path to Heaven....God bless and keep you!

*special Thanks to HokieNation!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Where have you been?

Seems to be the question of the day. Truthfully, I've been right here....working my butt off! I have been doing everything doubletime so that I will have all my work in place before I start my sabbatical. I can't wait! I finishing the school thing.... a new degree in Human Services Management. I've decided I am a terminal student. :) Well, anyway between school and trying to get all my ducks in a row and running myhousehold, and being there for my loved ones and friends...well, let's just say, "I got a full plate !" Oh and I forgot the best part.....I am so homesick I can't breathe. I need to see dogwoods and my mountain, and green alive things and the lake...and feel the sun, actually warm on my face. Oh and this is the funniest thing. I greew up in a little place in the Blue Ridge Mountains called Hardy, Virginia. It a lil town, half in Bedford County and half in Franklin County. We have a Post Office, and a rescue squad, volunteer. We have a couple little mom and pop stores and businesses. It's the kind of place that when I drive into town, everybody waves at me and yells Yipeeee, Brenda's home! Now this is the really funny part.....this week....Hardy got it's very first........ TRAFFIC LIGHT! I can only think of 3 roads that even intersect....I laughed so hard. My dad then told me that they were on each end of the railroad bridge on Hardy Road. they are doing some contruction on the bridge so they put lights ar both ends so that traffic will have to stop to allow use of a single lane. I can see why they put the lights there. A mile below that bridge is the marina on Smith Mtn. Lake and more than once I've met a drunk pulling a $100,000 bass boat on my side of the road, or at the very least, in the middle. Anyway I can't wait to see them and smell......smell the air, smell the lake. Oh if I keep this up, I'm gonna cry. I saw a new movie, the Kite Runner. I went out and bought a basket full of copies....I'll be sending em out! It has come the closest to hitting what I feel about being alive, a human, and what it means to be committed to another person in whatever capacity, family friend or lover. So I've rambled on for enough tonight....til next time....smooches


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