A Little Love

It’s Saturday morning, the 15th of February. Studly Doright took me to a nice dinner to celebrate Valentines Day with friends at our golf club last night. There was much laughter and wine and good conversation.

A call from a childhood friend took me away from the table for just a few minutes. She seldom calls me at night, so my heart froze for a minute thinking something bad had happened. Thank goodness that wasn’t the case! She just wanted to relate an encounter she’d had with a woman who’d been the bane of our middle school years. Her call made me laugh out loud.

I returned to the table and answered Studly’s concerned look with a squeeze of the hand. You see we have a friend who is in the final stages of his fight with cancer. Every phone call now could mean that he’s finally at peace, and that his sweet wife and children, along with all of his friends, have to deal with living in a world without his affection, his wit and wisdom, and his vast store of knowledge on darn near any topic.

So I’m sending love out into the universe today for our friend, Jim, and all those who love him. Would you please take the time to do the same? Even if it’s just a little love, if everyone does it it’ll be huge.

Peace and love, people.

Love Story

We discussed love songs several days ago, but what about love stories? Are you a fan of traditional love stories? Or do you lean towards less conventional fare?

I once told someone that Terminator was one of my favorite love stories, and they laughed. Kind of hurt my feelings. The saga of Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese finding love while saving the universe ignited my imagination, and made me a fan of a series that otherwise might’ve passed me by.

Of course I’ve enjoyed a few more conventional love stories, such as An Affair to Remember,

And Sleepless in Seattle,

but there’s something especially poignant about love that arises in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation because my other top love story is that of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa. When Han, on the verge of being encased in carbonite during The Empire Strikes Back, uttered those two little words, “I know,” in response to Leia’s profession of love, I melted.

That kiss was something special.

So maybe I am most fond of love stories wrapped inside a sci-fi movie, and not movies in which love is the main theme. How about you?

Peace and love, people!

A Texas Sized Love

Today in my February celebration of love I am featuring our Texas grandkids.

That’s D, above. D is our eldest grandchild. She’s 17 and a junior in high school. D is a talented tennis player on her high school’s team. She’s also developed an interest in baking, and has a weakness for macarons. Oh, she has a pet hedgehog and several cats. I’m not certain where this picture was taken, but it looks groovy.

J, her brother, is 13, and the next to the youngest of our five grandchildren. He plays trumpet in the school band and is a serious skateboarder. The kid taught himself to swim when he was just a little tyke, and he is fearless both in the water and out. He’s got a fine collection of knives, some of which he’s found while exploring at estate sales. He’s a motorcyclist, too. I think this photo was taken at a concert.

The two of them are smarter than I am. They get jokes that go over my head, and they actually get along with one another. I’m more than a little proud of them. I just wish I could see them more often.

Peace and love, people.

Looking for Love

I was an ugly duckling in my school days. I’d love to tell you I blossomed into a beautiful swan, but that would be a lie. I guess I ended up as a plain ol’ hen. Just one more duck in the flock.

But for an ugly duckling in a small town dates were few and far between. There were boys I liked a lot, but no one I felt was “the one.” The big L was evasive, and I had no indication that college would be any better. I was plain and more than a little weird. Not a great combination.

Then my family moved to Dumas, Texas, from Floydada, Texas, just as I began my senior year of high school. The high school was bigger. There was a larger dating pool. I went out with a few young men, but they just didn’t cut it. I might’ve been plain, but I still had standards.

Then, Studly Doright and I met. I’d encountered him on the condiments aisle at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store that my daddy managed and where Studly worked. Later, miracle of miracles, I encountered him outside the physical education locker rooms after second hour. We had P.E. class at the same time; although, boys and girls were segregated into different gyms in those days.

After many days of innocent flirtation, he asked me to attend the homecoming football game, and I accepted. During the first sweet goodnight kiss at the end of our very first date I was caught off guard. I’d tell you that I saw fireworks and that bells rang, but I did not. Instead, I just had this feeling of peace come over me, like I’d found a piece of heaven right then and there.

After the kiss I went inside the house. I closed the front door and leaned against it. Mom was sitting there waiting up for me with a questioning look on her face.

“Mom,” I said. “I think I might be in love.”

She didn’t laugh at me, or tell me I was being silly, or that it was just a first date and too early to know. She just hugged me.

I guess I’d been looking for love, but hadn’t really expected to find it. I sure recognized it when it arrived, though.

Peace and love, people.

All You Need is Love Me Do

Note: I wrote this a week ago, and set it to publish on Feb. 10th. Now, see the side note at the end. Well, read the piece first, THEN read the note. The timing was merely a happy coincidence.

The Beatles. John, Paul, George, Ringo. Oh! How I adored them. They wanted to hold my hand. They loved me, yeah, yeah, yeah. And they gave me all their lovin’. Paul was my second celebrity crush. Elvis was my first, but we aren’t talking about him right now.

The first time I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, my seven-year-old self was enraptured, while my dad was aghast at their hair. “Freida,” he cried, “Come look at these boys’ hair!”

I watched Mom walk into the living room to investigate what he was fussing over. The Beatles. I’d plopped myself down on the floor in front of our black and white screen tv and instantly fallen head over heels in love. They were all adorable, but Paul was the one. He sang to me. I knew that every word from his mouth was intended for me and me alone.

(That’s not me above, but it could’ve been)

If I’d been a little bit older, I’d likely have had more lustful feelings for Paul, but at seven, I just felt love in its purest form. He was adorably earnest with a mischievous smile. Unobtainable and safe. Every little girl should have such a love.

Was the music a part of it? Certainly. Who could resist Love Me Do?

https://youtu.be/0pGOFX1D_jg

I fall in love all over again when I hear this song.

Side note: On Feb. 9th 1964, the Beatles played their first television appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

Peace and love, people!

A Little Love

When I was in fourth grade at R.C. Andrews school in Floydada, Texas, I had a teacher who didn’t like me very much. From day one she scowled at me and never let up. She might also have been scowling at the other students in my class, but her disdain felt pretty personal to me.

She was the first teacher who did not praise my early attempts at writing. I cannot recall a single positive word she ever wrote on a paper I turned in, only criticisms in bright red marks across the page.

Too LONG!

Not long enough!

Too silly!

Too serious!

You used the word love to describe your feelings for your dog and your new shoes. We only use that word for people.

Heck, I know I loved my dog, and those shoes were certainly P. F. Flyers that made me run faster and jump higher. Who wouldn’t love shoes that could do all that?

She once criticized me for using a word that she said was too big for me to understand.

Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.

Of course I later learned that Mark Twain said that, and it makes perfect sense. But in my defense, I did understand the word: voluptuous. I used it in context, too. Perhaps that was the problem.

Floydada was, and remains, a small town. As an adult and a retired teacher I’ve speculated that perhaps this teacher held some grudge against one or both of my parents. Maybe even against my grandparents. And I received the brunt of it.

All I wanted was a little love from her, and if not love, just a little respect.

Take it away, Ms. Aretha Franklin:

https://youtu.be/JzqGZjFnYnA

More to Love

See these three? They are my Illinois grandkids. That’s our oldest grandson, G, our middle grandchild, M, and our youngest grandchild, H. The older two are in high school where G is in his junior year, and M is a freshman.

G has a part time job working at a local movie theater, and he’s active in Quiz Bowl. He is also the lighting director for the school’s theatre productions. Occasionally he has been persuaded to take a speaking role, and he’s quite good. He’s also in the band where he plays oboe and tenor sax (like me!)

M is a cheerleader (totally unlike her klutzy Nana) and takes tumbling classes. She’s also assisted her big brother in the theatre’s lighting department. He wanted someone smart to take over the reins after he graduates next year, and she’s the first one he thought about. Oh, she can write, too, and she’s a strategic genius. I think she’s beaten me in every game requiring strategy that we’ve ever played.

Honestly, I thought these two were all the children my daughter would ever have. When she announced that she and her husband were thinking about having another child I wasn’t all that encouraging. In fact, I might have asked, “Are you out of your freaking mind?”

What I lack in diplomacy, I make up for in crudity.

I brought up all my concerns about the cost of raising three children: Putting them through college, providing for them, etc., never mind the emotional energy a third child would require. I did my best to discourage her.

Then along came H. Bright, funny, honest, adorable H. From the first day we held her all my concerns went out the window. She would be loved, and loving, and nothing else really mattered.

She’s a second grader now, and is taking tumbling lessons like her big sister. She’s a movie buff and likes the music her daddy does, namely the Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin. She thinks her big brother is the bomb, and she keeps her Mama hopping. She loves to read, like I do. I can’t imagine a world without her or any of my grands.

It’s funny how there’s always enough love to go around, isn’t it. And how many times in my life I’ve been absolutely wrong. It’s a reminder to keep my mouth shut and my negative thoughts to myself.

Peace, and love, people!

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Tina Turner sang the song of the summer in 1984, and no matter where one went it seemed that her hit, What’s Love Got to Do With It ruled the airwaves.

Studly Doright and I were coaching a girls’ softball team that summer, and our all-star team had qualified for the regional tournament in Weatherford, Texas. On one of our off days, we took the girls to a water park in Arlington, Texas, where Tina’s hit seemed to be playing non-stop. Our son was tagging along on the trip and we couldn’t get enough of the tune.

The song begs the questions, “what’s love, but a second-hand emotion?” and “who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?” Both are fairly deep topics for a pop song. I can’t address the first question, but in regard to the second one, a heart is absolutely necessary to survival. Perhaps I’m being too literal, though.

https://youtu.be/oGpFcHTxjZs

It’s still a great song, even if we’re not sure of all the answers. Love’s like that, you know.

Peace, and love, people.

Love Lifted Me

I grew up in the small Texas town of Floydada. My parents were Baptists, my maternal grandparents were Baptists, my great grandfather was a Baptist minister. So of course, I was Baptist. Honestly I knew of only two other choices: Methodist and Pentecostal. Like I said, it was a small town.

The Baptist church shaped much of my life, and while it isn’t perfect, being comprised of human beings with all their prejudices, frailties, and hang ups, it taught me many good things: Love one another, do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and God is love, among other things. Too bad it’s become so political these days. I no longer think of myself as Baptist.

But the hymns! Oh my goodness did I love the hymns. Modern day worship music doesn’t come close to matching the hymns of my youth. Among my favorites was the hymn, Love Lifted Me. It’s so uplifting, so happy. It transcends denomination and religion.

https://youtu.be/mEsgA_TgDas

While there were several versions offered in my google search, none of them quite lived up to my memories of the song, but at least Alan Jackson did a reasonably good job of singing it.

Peace, and love, people.

Heard it in a Love Song

What’s the first song that comes to mind when you think about love songs? Do you have a favorite? Do you and your significant other have your own song?

Studly Doright isn’t much of a music person, so any romanticizing of a song for the two of us has always fallen to me. In the early days of our marriage, Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band was “our” song. It was a playful look at sex, and Studly liked that, but it didn’t really focus on love.

During the 80’s I gravitated towards Stuck With You by Huey Lewis and the News. Still not a terribly romantic song, but it seemed to fit what we were going through as a young couple with two young children. Stuck, but happy.

Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing came along in the 90’s, and I couldn’t stop singing it (badly). That’s how I felt about our relationship. No matter what we’d gone through, and we’d gone through plenty, I still didn’t want to miss the stuff to come.

I could name dozens of other love songs that meant something to me: Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney, This Kiss by Faith Hill, Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, I’ll Make Love to You by Boyz 2 Men and on and on. If I had to pick just one song to choose as “ours,” though, it’d likely be this one by Vince Gill.

Look at Us

https://youtu.be/uSfjp1ky4Mw

Yes, it’s sappy, but it fits. Maybe I should tell Studly it’s our song. He’s still fond of Afternoon Delight, though. Some things never change.

Peace, people.