The Party of 1981

The PartyHer name is Dymisha.   One of those friends that settle into your heart, make it their home, and will always be there whether you see them again or not.  That door in my heart has been opened recently, and those wonderful memories came flooding out,  balloons floating into the sky bursting into lovely fireworks.

It was 1981.  We went to church together and were doing a Paul/Timothy study.  We would meet; Dymisha would make me an egg and cheese sandwich with an ice-cold-over- ice Coke (she had Pepsi); the kids would play.  These sessions drew us close, taught us who the other was, and bound us together as sisters, sisters in Christ.

She was the one that turned me on to those delicious egg sandwiches that are to this very day my go-to comfort food.  Whenever I’m tired and hungry, I make an egg and cheese sandwich.  Whenever someone at the house is hungry right now, they get an egg and cheese sandwich.  And I always, always, always, every time I make one, think of her, Dymisha.  I put this recipe (if you want to call it that) on one of my blogs way back in the beginning, but I will put it on here again because it is just that good.

My Most Favorite Egg Sandwich In The Whole World

2 eggs (mix with a fork in the pan) fried in a T. of unsalted butter, no salt, better flip once, maybe fold them over some to fit on the bread

2 slices whole wheat bread, butter lightly one side, lay one piece butter side down in the same pan after scooping up the eggs with a pancake turner, then plop the eggs onto the bread

1 slice of cheese, whatever cheese you like, parceled over the top of the eggs, then place the other piece of bread on that, once again lightly buttered

flip to melt the cheese until it’s gooey and oozing out the sides and the bread is all crispy.

serve with an ice-cold Coca-Cola over crushed ice

Double Yum!!

It was my birthday, June 17, 1981.  Dymisha had invited me to go out to eat somewhere, and I was so excited.  Mom was going to keep the kids; a girls’ day out.  But first, she said, we had to make a stop at a lady’s house for some buttons or some kind of sewing stuff.

Okay.  I was good with that because we were out for the afternoon!

Well, first I have to tell you that Dymisha could do anything.  Really.  Anything she set her mind to, she could do it.  If she decided she wanted to wallpaper her living room, the next day it was done.  If she wanted new curtains, get out the sewing machine and make some that afternoon.  If she needed shelves built, well, where’s the drill.  She amazed me!

So I never thought anything at all about going down the street to the park for her to pick up something she needed to make.

Was I ever surprised!!

(to be continued)

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Matilda Hogbottom and Friends

Tonight was a fun-filled night full of good food with a bunch of good ladies.  Little Chapel Church was host to a bunch of women who got to enjoy hearing Matilda Hogbottom give us three defense techniques.  They were great and were accompanied by the defense moves (Karate Kid comes to mind).

Matilda Hogbottom

She came with her floaties on her arms, her water mask on her face, and her pool noodle.  After all, there is a flood going on up here.  She had the rather remarkable boots to go with the rest of the get-up.

Matilda explained that gossip discussing people’s problems was “Perfectly awl riiiight” because it helped us to pray for them better.  She then proceeded to regale us with tales from the preacher’s wife to the church secretary that were as far-fetched as they were funny.  My cheeks are still hurting from laughing so hard.

Her friends, Vergie Faye and Eugene, were there as well.  Two old farts who were discussing their newly acquired knowledge of the internet, their salsa dance lessons in keeping with the spirit of “Cinco de Mayo” as in mayonnaise, complete with the jar of mayo.  They, too, had me in stitches.

It feels good to laugh… to laugh at wholesome comedy… my endorphines are happy.

Piano Lessons

Since I was out in the backyard digging in the flower bed (digging up sunflower seedlings), I almost missed my piano student.  I thought it was five… it was six.  This daylight savings time makes me lose track of the time.

Right now I am up to four students!!  Yippee!  I love it.

piano student

It’s so much fun to watch it come together as they learn to play.  And the books now are great; gets them moving on the piano with both hands right away.

My mom started me taking piano lessons when I was seven or eight.  Mrs. Jennings from Junction gave me lessons every Saturday.  When Darla started taking lessons — (Dar, tell that story) —

weird Japanese stuff

I would get to watch TV during her lesson.  There was always one of those weird Saturday movies on, a Japanese movie with dubbed in English, black and white, something like that.  They were great!

Mom made me practice maybe not every day, but often.  She wanted me to play piano at church, and when I was around 12, she got her wish.  It may have been with one finger a lot of times, but I began playing around then.  And so did Vickie Jerrells (now Vickery).  Vickie plays the organ (the best I’ve ever heard) and I play the piano.  We have played together at church for many, many years now with some intermittent times of playing with other people.

wish we had one of these at church

ours isn't quite this big

I can see us still playing when we are very old, our hands all gnarled with arthritis, pounding away because we can’t hear, with sour looks on our faces because… well, we’re all old and gnarly.  That’s enough reason to look sour!

A Man Of God

(This week the header picture will be one James took; he loved shooting animals and landscapes.)

Jimmie Joe, JJ, (James to me because that’s what he liked to be called) had the most infectious smile that lit up his whole face and the space around him.  He was such a stinker until the day God grabbed his heart and changed him forever.

what a cutie

I have always loved God, loved my relationship with Jesus the Christ, and loved the fact that the Spirit can move me with the His quiet presence.  Some of my favorite radio stations are the ones that play contemporary Christian music: 104.5 around these parts is one.  I had been telling James he should listen to it because it played great music, had great stuff on there.

One day, he came home and said he had been listening to that station all day, and I don’t think he ever turned the radio dial away from it after that, calling in and winning contests; books, CD’s.  Nor did he turn back from the path he had embarked on with God as his guide.  He began to lead the youth in our church, play his trombone in worship, and love the things of God.

His love for the youth of our church, as well as the whole county, was obvious to anybody that was around him.  He had a deep conviction to show these youth there was a better, greater, more exciting way than drugs or alcohol.  He was filled with the joy of the Lord and wanted them to experience that too.  He worked diligently to teach them, to make things interesting, to give them opportunities that showed them who Jesus really is.

with the youth at Agape

He took them to the Agape music festival at Greenville College, had lock-ins, had cook-outs at our home, and just generally was there, present, in case they needed him.  Those kids still, ten years later, have him in their hearts.

cooking for the kids

He loved music and encouraged those of us who could play a musical instrument in church to get together and practice to play during worship.  And we did:  keyboard, drums, trombone, clarinet, guitars, whatever we could play.  He also worked at getting the sound system just right, good for recording the music and the church services.  My sister and I have always sang together and wanted to make our mother a recording of songs for her birthday.  James went with us to the church to record the music.  At one point in the evening I noticed him leaning back in the chair with his eyes closed.  Thinking he was getting bored and tired of listening and relistening to us, I told him we would hurry.  He sat up, tears on his face, and said, “No, I’m enjoying this.”

Joe, his grandfather, would come to the house, and we would all three watch the Gaithers on television.  I mean, I love the Gaithers, but contemporary Christian was more our style, and yet James would sit there and loved watching this.  His grandpa loved it, too.

He would call me outside of an evening to look at a particularly beautiful sunset and say, “I stand amazed in the Presence.”  And although that beautiful senset was, of course, amazing, it was not nearly as amazing as the transformation that took place in James’ life.

An amazing man of God.