Beautiful Tributes

My daughter is a fine writer. I expect one day she’ll write a bestseller and everyone will be singing her praises. Right now, though, she is tied up with raising a beautiful family and working full time as the office manager of a busy veterinary hospital. She’s a pretty amazing human being and I love her so much it hurts sometimes.

Today she posted tributes to the two ladies our family lost to COVID this past week. I had planned on writing down my own memories, but honestly, Ashley’s tributes are so beautiful I could never have matched them. With her permission here’s her post from Facebook:

“My family suffered two great losses this past week. We gathered in Texas to remember, mourn, honor, and celebrate the lives of my Greatest Aunt Lyn and my Mema Helen. There are now two giant holes in my heart, and our family will never be the same without them.

Aunt Lynnie was full of life. She lived and loved with her entire heart, and with purpose. She was protective of everyone she loved, caring, hilarious, strong, adventurous, and a force to be reckoned with. If you ever had a chance to talk to her, you would almost immediately get a sense of who she was. She loved to talk about her family, her passions, and her pride and joy – the Hereford Senior Center and the thrift store that she made her baby. I can hear her laughter, and see her smile…the ones that lit up every room and made everyone feel welcomed and loved. She was always the one to suggest a “girl’s trip” to get a drink and lottery tickets.

Lyn Noyes Rayburn (aka Greatest Aunt Lyn)

Mema’s legacy will live on through our entire family. She was one of the most amazing people this world will ever know. The stories from her childhood in Pie Town, New Mexico. Her famous biscuits & gravy. Her laughter, especially when one of us said something slightly inappropriate that she thought she probably shouldn’t have been laughing at (and then the subsequent use of that person’s first AND middle names). Her love for her family. Her sense of adventure and the way her eyes lit up when she talked about trips to the casino, or her grandkids, or the cruises she enjoyed taking. She loved her church, her friends, and traveling. I can only hope I live my life with as much gusto and passion as my Mema did.”

Our Mema, Helen Parker Noyes

My words—when folks die we tend to exaggerate their sweetness or say they were loved by all, even if they weren’t, but I can honestly say that these two women were admired by all who knew them. Gone from this world much too soon, but never forgotten. We will always love them.

Peace, people.

Grief

A million emotions

Mask grief:

Anger and madness

Contrition and control

Exhaustion and endurance

Helplessness and hopelessness

Too many to name. So much to bear.

The hurt reaches into each pore,

Slender branches poking and prodding

Taking over until the misery spills out faster

Than we can process it.

And that is why we

Weep.

Bright Spots

I haven’t posted much lately. My mind is occupied with worry for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, both of whom remain in an Amarillo hospital battling COVID. Both are now on ventilators.

On Tuesday I began my journey from Tallahassee, Florida, to Amarillo, Texas. I’m hoping to be a help and not a hindrance to the sister-in-law and niece who have been bearing the brunt of the responsibility these past few weeks.

Last night I stayed with my son and two of my grand dogs and this morning I’ll have a fairly short (four hour) drive to Amarillo.

The son and dogs were bright spots on my trip.

Jason and Milo
Ryder

Ryder slept with me part of the night. He snores a lot less than Studly Doright.

Peace, people. Oh, and wear your masks and get vaccinated and boosted as soon as you can.

Poor Planning

I arrived at the coffee shop early this morning ready to work on Reunion at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. There was just one problem:

Can you spot the problem?

No laptop. It’s at home, sitting by the back door. I’m clear across Tallahassee.

Internal conversation:

I could go home and get it.

It’s too far; you’d waste too much gas.

I guess I’ll write when I return home.

But all the really good ideas happen at the coffee shop.

That’s nonsense, and you know it.

But all the really good coffee drinks are at the coffee shop.

Well, that makes sense, but the coffee will be here tomorrow, as well.

True. So sip coffee now. Do some shopping. Write this afternoon. Maybe take a nap in between. And try to remember your laptop tomorrow.

Finally, a plan we can agree on.

Peace, people.

Cautiously Optimistic

I haven’t had it in me to write a blog post these past few days, but I’m going to give it a go. On Christmas Day, my mother-in-law, Saint Helen, was taken to an Amarillo hospital where she tested positive for COVID. Her eldest daughter and son-in-law also tested positive.

Due to the overwhelming number of COVID patients there were no rooms, so the three stayed in the emergency room. When a room on the COVID floor did open up it was given to my sister-in-law who had developed the crystals that indicate COVID pneumonia in both lungs.

Saint Helen did well enough that she was released to her middle daughter after a couple of days. Unfortunately COVID wasn’t ready to let her go and she was readmitted a few days ago. Currently, she is in the Intensive Care Unit. She had two really rough days, but maybe turned a corner last night. Middle daughter says they are cautiously optimistic.

My sister-in-law, “Almost Saint Lyn,” is one of my favorite people in the entire world. She remains in the ICU (I believe, I forgot to ask this morning) and also has had some really tough days, and likely still more to come, but we are hopeful she has turned a corner. I’ve texted with her a time or two and she feels good enough to be bored.

Her husband was able to go home yesterday, and according to Almost Saint Lyn’s daughter, who is taking care of him, he’s cranky, so that’s a good sign.

Now, Saint Helen’s middle daughter, Angie, has shouldered most of the responsibility for keeping the rest of us informed. Angie has been the constant solid contact since Christmas, caring for the sick, suiting up and going onto the COVID floor for the once daily 30 minute visits with her mom and the others. She’s had help from Almost Saint Lyn’s daughter and also from Saint Helen’s youngest daughter, but Angie is the one who has born the brunt of the crisis.

Please keep our loved ones in your prayers or send good vibes or whatever you can spare. I know we aren’t the only ones in this situation. The number of new infections is staggering.

So I’m officially granting Angie sainthood. She has earned it. It doesn’t pay well, but we are so grateful to her. Studly Doright and I have felt so helpless being in Florida, so far away from family, but Saint Angie has been our rock.

I joke to keep from crying, you know. Still, Saint Angie has a nice ring to it.

Peace, people.

This photo of Saint Helen and me was taken at Christmas several years ago. We were in Nashville getting ready to attend a performance of the Grand Ole Opry. She’s the best.

Go Tell the Bees (Not a Review)

I just finished reading Diana Gabaldon’s Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, the ninth book in the Outlander Series. After waiting what seemed like a hundred years for this novel, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to remember all that had taken place in the previous eight novels. And guess what—I couldn’t recall a great deal of it. But it didn’t matter. I loved it anyway.

Ms. Gabaldon’s characters and locations are so vividly drawn, and her writing so engaging, that I didn’t care that some characters weren’t familiar to me or that I’d forgotten Jamie’s nephew had married a Quaker or that William was Jamie’s son or half a dozen other things integral to the story.

Plenty of backstory is woven into the narrative, but even so I often had to shrug and read on when I couldn’t place a character. Again, I didn’t care. I love these characters. The major ones are as real to me as people in my own family.

My only worry is that I might not live to read book ten. With times being what they are, and my age being what it is, nothing is guaranteed.

If you like your books with a little meat on their bones, you’ll enjoy the Outlander series. It’s a feast, not fast food.

Peace, people.

Before I Had a Blog

Before I had a blog I used to just compose weird stuff on Facebook. This piece of silliness showed up in my Facebook memories yesterday. I think perhaps I wrote it the day after Studly Doright had knee replacement surgery. He was being a complete arse, and I was dreaming of greener pastures.

Pretending for grownups part 3: Wine Tasting

I tasted the third wine offering, swished, and spat (spit?) into a bucket and made some noises along the lines of “lovely notes of asparagus and wheat with a charmingly simple nose dusted with peaches and pork rinds,” when a tall handsome stranger caught my eye.

Danged eye, why can’t you stay in the socket where you belong?

He handed it to me in one graceful move. “I couldn’t help but notice you have an incredible set of buds.”

I blushed, until I realized he was talking about my taste buds.

“Which is your favorite wine so far?” He asked.

I pointed boldly to the red, a heady merlot.

“I like a woman who knows what she likes,” he said with a wink.

“Well, I like you.” I smile.

“I like that you know that you like me,” he said.

“I thought you might.”

He sipped the wine. I sipped mine. We sipped. And sipped. And sipped some more, Closing the deal was never my forte, nor his it seemed.

“Are you married?” He finally asked.

“I was. My husband died in an unfortunate knee replacement incident.”

“I happen to have two excellent knees.”

And in that moment I knew he was the one for me.

Peace, people.

Our Christmas Letter to You, a Reblog

I wrote this several Christmases ago and thought it worth sharing again. At any rate, I’m too stuffed with turkey and dressing to come up with anything original.

Wherever you are, however you celebrate, I hope this season finds you safe and healthy. Happy Holidays, friends.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2015/12/24/christmas-letter/

Peace, people.

It’s a Sign

A baker of ill-repute, such as myself, looks for signs and omens anywhere she can while engaged in culinary endeavors. So I’m taking this heart to heart this morning as I prepare the ingredients for a single pecan pie for Studly and me to enjoy on Christmas Day. Since I literally put all my eggs into one basket, er pie, I’ll welcome all the good vibes I can get.

May all your baking efforts be similarly blessed this holiday season.

Peace, people!

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