Wonderful people wander into our lives. Some stay for years and some only for seconds. Each day you experience a multitude of moments that make their imprint on your life. Like a flitting dragonfly, skimming so close to the water, we traverse through our routines each day. We pay no notice to the beauty of chance instants…the instants that make us exhale, make us smile, give us joy for a brief twinkling.

Today I begin to share my moments with you. Today I promise to savor my moments.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


"Be yourself, everyone else is taken."

~ Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Thanks

(From 7/2/2010)

Hot dogs, fire works, lemonade, grass, pool, picnic cloths red checked, grills going, family, friends, freedom, flags flying high, sparklers, heat, chips, potato salad, home made ice-cream, playing Marco Polo, music, neighbors, ol' skool music with country & gospel, ceiling fans, citronella, kool-aid, sweet tea, yelling & laughing, dogs barking, kids running, frisbees flying, golf played, fish frying, cars waxed, 4 wheelers revving, sea-doos scooting, splashing & diving, suntan lotion smells, rafts blown up, tropical patio cushions, flip flops flopping, mustard, ketchup, pickles, relish, hot sauce, stringed patio lights, tree climbing, dirt digging and earthworm finds, sand pails & shovels, "who wants hamburgers and who wants hot dogs?" "medium, well or rare?" "dry, wet or muddy?"

For all of this, I thank the men and women who have served in our armed forces throughout the history of our great country! There is no better land nor people!

Behind the Front Door

(Reposted from my former blog - written June 2010.)


I am really sad tonight. I have lived next door to Doc Jones for six years and have known him in passing since 1985. Yet, I had no idea what had happened to him in this last year and a half. I didn't know what was happening behind the front door that was right next to my front door.

Doc was a part-time doctor by the time I met him in 1985. He would travel out of town to rural clinics a couple of days a week. He was married to his second wife who was a former nurse in his practice. They had a child, Neil, his second son.

Six years ago I moved in here next door to him. He was divorced again. His son Neil had graduated high school and was having some emotional issues stemming from drug use and was hospitlized off and on for 3-4 years.

Doc still doctored part time and would bike ride on nature trails most mornings a couple miles from our neighborhood. As I left for work I would wave to him loading his bike onto his Subaru.

Then 3 years ago I noticed some different people around his house...a 40ish woman with a grown daughter and teenage son. (Doc was early 60s by this time.) She was a nurse from his current practice.

Then 2 years ago I noticed they had married.

Then I noticed nothing. No people. No comings or goings.

This past Christmas Doc's trademark one red porch lightbulb and one green porch lightbulb appeared. I thought ok, he's just slowing down and she must park in the back. The kids were old enough to be gone.

Then about 3 months ago I saw Doc walking kind of off kilter. I wondered as I waved and drove off to work if he had had a stroke. No, our neighbors would have called. Afterall, we have several street parties a year, make and bake Christmas cookies for our older neighbors, have hayrides and cookouts, enjoy the status of being the biggest and oldest neighborhood association in our town. If we do all that then surely a stroke would have been reported...yeah, nah, he didn't have a stroke.

Ok, he didn't. He had several. He also had his all of his money taken from his bank accounts by that third wife. She divorced him and was gone. He had to sell his house. It was in such disrepair inside that he didn't get much for it. The buyer let him rent the place for the last year. Then Doc got to the point he could not live alone anymore and his son Neil got him into a care facility. The roles had reversed.

Now, the front door next door has no family behind it. No Doc Jones. I am sad about that but sad also that the family behind my front door did not know about, do anything or care enough to find out about Doc's troubles that were all just next door.

I don't know where Doc is, but I pray for him.

I don't know who will move in next door. I know I am going to make a point to do more than just wave to them as the years go by, though.

I'm not going to miss Doc's trademark Christmas lights because I am going to put in a green and a red porch light each holiday season in honor of him.

Don't wait till front doors open...go knock!

To Swim

Glorious Coolness
in the Midst of Memphis Heat.
Light Sensations
of Rippling Waves Amongst Air Thick with Humidity.

                                            ~TEG June 2010

Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin' across your face.

Ok, so "Steel Magnolias" is a movie I have somehow grown into.

Didn't plan it that way. However, along Life's path I have found a bit of Truvy (Dolly Parton)...a lot of M'lynn (Sally Field)...some Shelby (Julia Roberts)...bunches of Claree-according to my loved ones (Olympia Dukakis)...and I've seen Ouiser (Shirley McClain) in my mom forever...now Ouiser is slipping into my Life Attitude, slowly but steadily. I understand and appreciate her sarcastic & pessimistic soul more each glorious day!

For those of you who have not seen the movie, you should. For those of you who haven't and you're female, you need to. If you haven't seen it, you are female AND you live under the Mason Dixon Line, shame on you-part of your heritage is missing!

Go watch and let me know which Magnolia you are a bloomin' into these days!

Bobby Sox

Cats. I grew up in a dogs-only house. Then I had a son who lost his great grandfather.

Grandpa was Jonathan's best friend. They played checkers together. They sat in the patio swing together. They were 2 yings or 2 yangs and they weren't looking for their compatible other halves. They were just fine together on the bedroom floor playing with building blocks my great grandfather had cut and sanded for Grandpa when he was a boy Jonathan's age.

Then Grandpa developed Alzheimers-senility-old age. At 93 it was bound to happen sometime, right? Most days he didn't remember most of us. He did always think my mom was Maxie, his wife, which was sweet that he remembered her, even if he didn't pick the right person as Maxie. It was probably because my mom took care of him like Maxie always had. Grandpa was able to build or fix anything well onto age 90, but was clueless if it was 11:01 am (dinnertime) or 4:01 pm (suppertime) and Maxie (or mom) had not set food on the table. We may never eat again if food did not appear on the table at those times, I really think he believed. He was from an earlier era that had those expectations of habit and conformation.

While he forgot most things and most people, he ALWAYS knew Jonathan on sight immediately.

Then in 2001 we lost Grandpa. Jonathan was in fourth grade. I was lucky that a friend of mine from high school, Julia Kapos, was his teacher. She gave him the time he needed to deal with everything.

During this time Jonathan and I were on our own and we had moved into an apartment. One night during a storm we came home to a scared, wet, pitiful young cat cowering in our doorway. Now, I knew nothing about cats. By nothing I mean n o t h i n g. However, after looking at him and then looking at my son's face, I let the cat in and we put her in my son's bathroom. She was good all night, so the next morning I left her in my son's room as we left for school. That evening I came home expecting the chair, bedding and curtains to be shredded, but instead found the cat stretched out on Jon's bed. So, she became our Bobbie Sox...

That is, until we took her to the vet. It was then I learned that male kitty parts are "retractable" and do not show. For a dog person, that info is still weird to me. Needless to say by the end of the vet visit Bobbie Sox was Bobby Sox.

The name came from his little white paws. He looked like he was wearing Bobby socks. Jonathan thought he looked like a bobcat - I think that was his thought in order to sound more macho.

Jon was also convinced that Bobby Sox was sent by his Grandpa because Bobbo liked to curl up in Grandpa's chair that Jonathan had "inherited." (Inherited here means refused to allow us to donate it to Goodwill, would not let anyone else have or use it and insisted that it was now his as it was a guy's chair.)

That cat was instantly Jonathan's best friend. They existed together in Jon's room, two kindred souls that didn't have to talk, just knew what each was thinking and what each needed.

So, an abandoned cat, "sent" by my Grandpa, turned me into a cat-person because he healed my son's heart. Now, we are dog and cat people.

Vain & Wrinkled

Wrinkles. I really have them. Wrinkles and the same dark circles under my eyes that my grandmother had. Recently I learned that my grandmother had a surgical eyelid lift at one point. Wow, that was cosmetic surgery over 30 years ago.

Today I was going through pictures of myself and I noticed that I kept focusing in on my eyes. My eyes used to be my vanity and apparently my vanity now feels old and wounded. That sounds weird, I know, but when I worked in very public jobs and was dating I always received remarks and compliments about my eyes. I did a smidgeon of modeling and I was always described as "the one with the big almond eyes."

These days those almond eyes have corner creases, which I don't mind. I embrace them under the term "laugh lines" and thank God that I have laughed so much. The drop of my upper eyelids, though, has me saying, "Right on, Grammy," she knew what she was doing! I think what truly makes me feel old are the under eye circles. I think they pull me down in more ways than just physically.

So now what? Do I start making the rounds of all the high end cosmetic counters searching for the miracle solution? Or blow my budget on high priced "new" products shown in Vogue and Vanity Fair? Do I start researching possible cosmetic surgical procedures? Do I accept Nature gracefully and live with it? I don't want to do any of these things!

If there were a miracle product, every woman I know would rave about it, use it and stockpile it. Why are new products always so overpriced? Will we actually pony-up and buy it if it's more expensive because the high price must make it better? Needles of bacteria that paralyze my face just scare the bejeebies out of me. I don't usually accept anything quietly, so why aging?

Just writing this makes me feel vain. I'm not hungry. I'm not terminally ill. I have a home. I have a job. There are people who love me. I've got it really bad off, huh? My life is so terrible? Nope. This is where I say, ok God, you made your point. I'm aging and that's ok. Maybe I'm not aging so gracefully, but I can age with gratitude. If under-eye circles (I refuse to call them bags, by the way) are the worst thing I have to lament, bring them on!

So, I will make friends, once again, with the camera that I have avoided for years now. I will join family photos. I will see only my shining eyes and focus on my laugh lines.

Vanity, though, will send me out searching for an industrial concealer....that makes me wonder if Killz or Sherwin Williams could come up with a workable solution for me?

Peace & Concealer, folks!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Isak Dinesen

(pictures taken by & borrowed from Brother Al)

The Store Story

My son works at a major department store.  He has worked there almost a year now and loves it.  Recently his store location changed to a fulfillment store for smaller stores needing items shipped out.  To facilitate this task, employees make a round through the store with rolling racks, picking up the items requested for fulfillment shipping.

The employees used for this task are not new employees, my son was told.  They have worked there for years, yet he had never met them, or even seen them until recently.  He asked where they had been assigned and was told they worked in shipping.  He said he’d been out back and down to the basement to the shipping dock; he had never seen all these people.  He was then told they work in shipping and they work UNDER the shipping dock. 

Since you have to go to the basement to get to the shipping dock, he couldn’t conceive where “under the shipping dock” would exist.  Curious, he went down to the dock and then asked how to get to the other shipping area below.  When he finally reached “under,” he was amazed.  He said to start, the door was misshapen and an irregular size – off kilter, short and skinny.   Then when he went in, he felt as if he had entered a third-world sweatshop. 

There were several people squeezed into this tiny room that was grey and depressing with no air-conditioning.   Let me repeat this key bit of information, there was NO air-conditioning.  We live in southwestern Tennessee, which is the The South.  It is The South that is known for its unbearable humidity and summer temps in the upper 90s - low 100s.  This room had no window, no air, just table fans to move the unbearable humid, summer temp air around.  Like worker bees the employees sat clicking security tags onto clothing and other items one tag after another.

As my son backed out of the door and back up the hall to the basement, he couldn’t grasp that these people come to work each day like he does, for the same pay, in the same uniform of dress shirt and slacks, to face 8 hours of, as he called it, “slave labor conditions.”  I explained that the employees were getting meal and bathroom breaks, a legal wage, etc., so in that respect it was not slave-labor.  I told him there are many jobs that are not performed in air-conditioning.  That said I cannot believe the conditions that these people work in, either.  I have to admit that it shocks me that a high-end store, a company of this one’s size and history, would purposely set up any part of their operation in this manner.  Air-conditioning in our area is a life preserving necessity. 

I could not go to work each day knowing that I would sit in a grey room with no windows, no air and do the same repetitive task thousands of time for 8 hours.  I know people will argue that if you need a job, you need a job and yes, that is true.  If my life and the lives of my family depended upon me doing that each day, I would do it…UNTIL I found something else, something better, something with a window, or air, or not relegated to the “third-world” pit.  I would do everything in my power to not do it for years.

When I started my story, I did so just to pass on to you the weirdness of the story as I was told.  No lesson.  No enlightenment I had found.  However, I tricked myself.  You see, this morning I did not appreciate my job. I was actually complaining about an aspect of it that now seems very childish.  I’m telling you, this journaling stuff is priceless for learning and gratitude.

Peace & Air-Conditioning to All! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lesson from Layla

Frightened by the sound she hears,
She shakes and runs, as it nears.
Not a ghoul or boogieman,
Just rain and thunder across the land.
TEG 7/21/11

My Layla puppy, a Beagle-Jack Russell mix, is scared to death of thunder. Tonight she was a big girl. I patted her back through the storm and for the first time she stayed still for awhile. After the thunder stopped and the rain calmed to sprinkles, I took her and my rat terrier Barky out on the patio. She ventured out into the showers, came back, shook it off and was done for the night. This is progress.

Layla is my real-life Pound Puppy. (Remember the toy by that name?) Layla came from the City's animal shelter. She was heartworm positive. The first round of treatment sent us to the emergency animal hospital late one night, where they didn't think she'd make it, but she did.

(Layla at only 12 lbs.)
She has a heart of gold, the appetite of a mutt and eyes that always say, "I just wanna be loved-please love me." And I do. I feel like I need to make up now for all the love she missed out on before. When she came to us she was 10 pounds under weight. She's 22 lbs now. From 12 to 22...a big difference for a little girl.

Layla's been with us since March. Five months of love has made her healthy, happy, spoiled and starting to gain some control over her fear of storms. Love is such a powerful tool in this world.

This makes me thinks of Corinthians 13:13:
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

How many children would thrive with true love? How many people would not trudge through broken lives if only they were showered in love? The questions are endless and so are the possibilities.

In the verse above, Paul says that faith, hope, and love would remain; but of "these," for important reasons, love was the most valuable. I believe it is because it is more important to the welfare of others, and is a more eminent virtue. The powerful trick that love has is that by GIVING love, you FEEL love. What else can you GET by GIVING? Nothing. Love is the only thing that has that twist. What an awesome engineering job the Big Guy did creating that part of us.

(Layla at 22 pounds)
Well, that's my thoughts for the night. Looking back at this entry, I see exactly how my journaling works for me. I experience something, which sparks a little creative output (my 4 line verse at the beginning.) Then I start my journaling, which I always hope leads me to a little insight, reminder, pick me up, understanding or appreciation of the experience. Doesn't always happen, but the process is still enjoyed.  

Enjoy your night. Peace & LOVE!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mr. G. Hopper


Just call me The Bug Lady this week. As you can see, a grasshopper caught a ride with me on my way to work. He braced on my car hood all the way down the interstate (20 mins.) The pic was taken as we came off the ramp onto the Perkins exit. (Haha, I said "we" as in me & Mr. G. Hopper!). If you are able to enlarge the pic he shows up really well. That is a little daredevil...talk about adrenalin junkie!

As I watched him I thought, here we go again. Yesterday the dragonflies were a sign to me. Was this guy sent to tell me something? If so, what? Brace yourself? Great. However, I just got caught up admiring how beautifully green he was on my white car. His antennae were picture perfect. He was a healthy katydid specimen! But why was he riding with me this morning? And why am I suddenly inundated with bugs?

I've always heard of the custom of a grasshopper in the home is thought to be good luck. I think it's really funny, though, as locusts are short-horned grasshoppers-same family. Lord knows, locusts are not lucky to have!

So, I did what we do these days and I googled Mr. G. Hopper:
~Japanese consider it lucky. Good.
~Chinese consider it a sign of fertility. Oh no!
~Greeks considered it a sign of wealth. Way off.

I found, though, something I liked. As an animal totem, the grasshopper appeals to artists, musicians and writers.

"The grasshopper moves to its own rhythm and tune, indicating this creature is a advocate of intuition and listening to our inner voices. The grasshopper encourages us to listen to our own stirrings – those beautiful chirping lullaby’s that sing in our hearts are indications of our inner beauty and creativity. The grasshopper totem reminds us these inner musings must never be silenced – rather, they should be nurtured, and always remain as the background music to the performance of our lives.  As with most insect totems, the grasshopper keeps itself to the ground. As such, this is a grounding totem, and the grasshopper can teach us stability, patience, security, and solidarity."

In that I found my answer. Keep listening to my inner voice and dancing to my own tune. Nurturing my soul's music will lead to patience and peace.

So, today I found my animal totem - the animal totem I didn't know I was missing. Seriously though, again, the tiniest of nature's family brought to me wonder and introspection. Incredible.

My eyes are opening and so is my mind.

Peace & Patience to all!

Dragonflies Lead the Way

I started this collection of stories, ideas, thoughts, ramblings, etc. on a Tuesday.  Wednesday morning I had a wretched time getting dressed and just plain getting myself together.  As I miserably headed to work, I stopped to get some breakfast.  While I sat in the drive-thru lane, grumbling in my head about my morning and the upcoming day, a dragonfly appeared and buzzed all around the front and top of my car.  I froze.  Then, as I was already amazed, a second joined him and they sat side by side on my windshield.

In case the name of my blog missed you entirely, I will explain that I love dragonflies.  The name dragonfly conjours up monstrous (dragon) tinyness (fly.)  Their double set of wings work in tandem as a set, yet each set independent of the other.  Their whole body has a luminescence of lovely colors and the translucence of their wings is incredibly fairy-like.  That something so fragile looking can be so strong and fast is one of nature's enigmas.

Let me sidetrack and tell you that I have recently ended a short bout of therapy.  I was going to say "finished," but are you ever really finished with therapy?  It was a good introspection to take now that I am turning 46...kind of a mid-life tune-up of the psyche.  Guess I'm good for another 45 years or expiration date unknown.  Oh, wait, therapy comes with no warranty - shucks!  So, therapy recently, hence the journaling habit has stuck, thus leading to starting this blog. 

Back to the crappy morning, two dragonflies on my windshield while I'm in a Krystal's drive-thru, nowhere near any kind of body of water as a dragonfly would like... Now, some people would say that it's summer and so what? It could happen.  Yeah, and it did.  But, I was running late and what if I had been on time?  No dragonflies.  What if, being late, I skipped breakfast?  No dragonflies.  What if I went to McDonald's instead of Krystal's?  No dragonflies.  Do you see what I'm getting at?  Think what you want, but those dragonflies told me this...
         *There are 2 of us, just in case you think seeing 1 is just a fluke.
         *Yes, we are a sign to you to get your mind off that "woe is me" attitutude this
           morning. We are a sign that you need to smile, like you are right now watching us, 
           and wake up to the wonder & beauty of today!
         *We are also a sign that "Of Dragonflies and Passersby" is the right journey.  We are 
           literally dragonflies that are passing by - what more of a sign do you need?

In reading this it strikes me that I may need to go back to therapy because I'm listening to dragonflies. -humor- But, Reader, you know what I mean.  We all have some type of higher power we believe in, trust in, seek...God, Buddha, Mother nature, yourself, etc.  Mine is a combination of God using nature.  I believe yesterday God used two dragonflies to get my attention.  I also believe it was His sign that this blog endeavor will help me see, share, experience more wonder and beauty in my life.

Thanks for joining me!