Life’s Playlist…. Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus

Sunday was a perfect day!  One of those days filled with faith, friends and family, I couldn’t have asked for more.

Started off at Church.  The church I attend is filled with good people, people who love each other and are committed to their walk with God.

I saw some great friends, heard amazing music, was touched by unplanned testimony from my friend Carla and enjoyed a sermon of faith and promise from Pastor Adam.

After Church I traveled to Helen, GA to visit with friends who were visiting from Florida.  It is always good to spend time with my friends and to be able to see how their children have grown since I left Florida was amazing.

One of their daughters is my special friend Sophia, a sweet, spirit filled child who embraces her life challenges and overcomes with joy.

We went to a zip-line course and the kids and dads sped through the woods attached by tether to the lines.  We had some concerns about Sophia’s ability to do the course, but she embraced the zip line and giggled with glee as she traversed the course.

As Sophia finished the first line, we knew it would all be OK, as she shouted with glee…. “I came in like a wrecking ball!”

After the dads and kids had finished the course, it was fun to just sit and talk with them all.  We laughed, reminisced and enjoyed each other’s company.

As I come up to my three-year anniversary of moving away from Florida, it is always good to see my friends and catch up.

After a quick trip back to town, I met up with the family for Sunday Supper…. a special dinner for my sister-in-law, Donna’s birthday.

As usual our time together was filled with laughs, reminiscing and total joy as our 3-year-old princess kept us entertained.

We missed having Zach, Brett and Jade with us, but know there will be other times when we can all be together.

It’s days like Sunday that make me realize just how fortunate I am.  My life may not be complete, but with faith, family and friends, I can’t really complain about the things I am missing.

I love my life and I love the people who make each day a blessing.  It was a good day!

As the night grew to an end, Sam and Donna both mentioned that I haven’t been writing.  I actually have been, and completed the 500 Word, Jeff Goins writing challenge, I just haven’t been sharing all my words here.  I’ll work on that as I know the words I put here on my computer screen are another blessing I was given in this life.

Today’s song is for my friend Sophia…. Wrecking Ball.  Keep knocking down those obstacles sweet girl, you are a blessing to everyone who knows you!

Life’s Playlist…. Forever Young performed by Joan Baez

For me, few things evoke genuine emotion like music.

I can listen to a song and be taken away to a place, a time, a moment.

Some songs make my heart soar, others send me into a deep despair.  I cry when I hear the Star Spangled Banner, my heart is filled with youthful joy when I hear Mustang Sally.

We Are the World puts me in a pool at Georgia Southern College and Vogue places me on the dancefloor at a Sunday Tea-Dance.

Years after their funerals I still struggle listening to How Great Thou Art as it places me on the front row at my parents funerals.

Yesterday, I was writing my April column for Georgia Mountain Laurel, the column is about someone who has had a major impact on my life and a song kept coming through my head.

It’s funny, how a song can put your mind in a place or the notes of a chorus brings a person to mind.

Music has always had this impact on me, all the songs of my life tie together to form a symphony of the people and places of my years here on earth.

I hope my chorus has many more stanzas to go, before the final note is played.

Last night I was watching YouTube and this song popped up on the screen.  I watched one version and ended up watching five different artists perform it.  I have always loved the song, let the words speak to you, in my mind they represent Bob Dylan’s best work….

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay
Forever young
Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
Forever young
May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay
Forever young
Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
Forever young
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay
Forever young
Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
Forever young

 

Life’s Playlist… One Voice performed by The Georgia Boys Choir

When my pen touches the paper, the magic that happens is beyond my wildest dreams.

The figures that I have created for over fifty years have made me famous beyond my imagination and allowed me to bring the simplistic voice of a child to the world’s forefront.

It is hard for me to believe that a simple idea so many years ago would become something that the world identifies with.  From a simple newspaper feature, my cartoons have become television shows, movies, stuffed animals, books, characters in theme parks, on every street Halloween night and even traveling ice shows.  These characters that formed in my mind and came to life on paper have allowed me to express a viewpoint to the world.

I’m no great artist, I know that, but what I am is a man who is able to express an opinion through the eyes of a clumsy young boy who relates more to his dog than he does his friends.

This boy, his dog and group of misfit friends have given me wealth and fame, but more than that, they have taught me the joys of a simple message, a message that is quoted and shared by parents with their children and children with their children; they have allowed me to share my views with a world that more often than not just needs a little joy with their morning paper.

When my characters were given a voice and color was added to their world, they came to life and now just the sound of a childlike voice takes my fans to a place where everything is made possible in just a few frames of newsprint.

I started sharing my drawn family with the world in 1950, it was a much simpler time then and as the world has changed, my kids have stayed the same.

Although they are now fifty years old, they haven’t aged a day, they are still the same rotund group of feitsy, nerdy, hard to understand, shy, lyrical, gullible characters they were the day they debuted to the world.

If I had known the world was going to fall in love with them, I may have changed some things, but as I look back on it now, I know they are perfect in all their imperfections.

I love these kids like they are my own family, because if I am truthful, they have become members of my family.  Like those who take time to visit with them every day, you can find members of your own family and situations from your own life in the lives of these kids who visit you.

Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Pig-Pen, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Woodstock, Snoopy and Charlie Brown have become cultural icons because of their single focus of bringing good to the world.

On this date in 2000, the last original “Peanuts” comic appeared in your newspapers bringing to an end the stories of these kids who made my life so special.  That last original comic, was brought to you the day after I passed away at the age of 77.

I am Charles M. Schulz and I am the cartoonist who brought you Peanuts.  I am also the “voice” of today’s Jeff Goins, 500 Word Challenge your author chose to use in his assignment “write in someone else’s voice.”

 

 

Life’s Playlist…. That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be by Carly Simon

I have been slack on my writing assignments over the weekend, but I am back today and ready to go.  The assignment for Day 14 of the Jeff Goins – 500 Word Challenge is…. write about food.

Well there couldn’t be a better subject for me, anyone who knows me knows I LOVE food.  I love planning meals, love shopping for it, love cooking it and especially love eating it.  If I could find someone to do the clean-up that would be perfection!

The challenge is narrowing down what to write.  I could expand on a recipe, share something I enjoy, or praise a favorite restaurant.  HMMM.

I think I will just go with my ultimate meal.  If I were to compile the perfect meal, from anywhere, cooked by anyone what would it be.  No worries about calories, nutrition or any “rules,” just what I want for my ultimate meal.  (Fair warning, this won’t be for the faint of heart!)

A Southern Feast.

Any meal of consequence would have to include my mother’s homemade biscuits.  Growing up we had biscuits every night for supper and when she cooked breakfast we would have them then too.  Mama couldn’t give her recipe because she always said she just knew what to put in.  I know they had Martha White Self-Rising Flour, Buttermilk, Butter and I think Crisco.  (Could be wrong about the Crisco.)  She cut each biscuit with an old Vienna-Sausage can and placed them on the pan she used just for cooking biscuits.

My ultimate meal would include Fried Chicken, cooked by my daddy and also Cubed Steak cooked by my mama.

There would probably be some Country Ham just to complete the perfect meal trifecta.

Using the old grease from the Cubed Steak there would be gravy for saturating the biscuits.

A huge bowl of fried okra would be the cornerstone of the vegetables.  Also on the vegetable list Black-eyed Peas, Silver Queen Corn on the Cob and Green Bean Casserole.

There would be deviled eggs and potato salad with mayonnaise and mustard, sweet pickles, onion, eggs and salt and pepper.

There would be “Ken’s Pink Salad.”  A simple congealed salad that my mama named after me because I love it so much.  Jello, Cottage Cheese, Cool-Whip and Pineapple chunks all mixed together and chilled in the refrigerator until it has just the perfect consistency.

No meal would be complete without lots of Sweet Tea and maybe some pineapple juice just to add a little tropical twist.

After the perfect meal, an array of perfect desserts would fill the table.  Homemade Banana Pudding with meringue, tart lemon pie and my grandmother’s cream cheese pound cake.

As delicious as that meal could be, what would make it all the more special would be sharing it with those who prepared it just one more time.  Those days have now passed, but I know that those I love will have it prepared for me when we see each other again in heaven.

A delicious meal that is served better with those you love and the memories they create as time moves on.

Life’s Playlist…. Luck Be A Lady performed by Seal

The day I won the lottery my life changed.  Twelve million dollars tends to do that.

As I read the numbers off my sheet and saw each one match, I couldn’t believe my luck and had no idea what to do first.

I called my parents and shared the good news, then my brother.  Being the sensible ones in the family they advised me to put the card away for safe keeping and not to tell anyone else about my good fortune.

As it was a Sunday, I wouldn’t be able to cash in the winnings until the next day.  I taped the sheet to the back of my dresser for safe keeping and locked myself in my apartment out of fear that someone out there knew that I had won.

I spoke to my family a couple of times during the day and arranged for them to drive down the next morning and we would go to the Lottery office together to claim our winnings.

I barely slept that night.  I was convinced that every noise was an armed robber coming into my house and stealing my ticket.

At 29 years old, I knew that my life would never be the same.  No financial worries would allow me to do what I wanted with my life, start businesses, help other people or do nothing.

What I knew was the my family would be taken care of, there may not be enough to help others, but for us, we would now live on easy-street.

By the time my family arrived on Monday morning, I had my plan in place.  Half the money would be mine, my parents would receive 25% and the final 25% would be split between my brother and a foundation we would start to help other people.

As my mom, dad and brother came bounding into my tiny apartment, we all embraced and laughed at out good luck.   It was one of the most exciting moments of my life to see them so excited!

They asked to see the ticket and we all went into my bedroom where I dug the ticket off the back of my dresser.  We compared the numbers and again celebrated when I called out the sixth number on the roll.  We were winners!

Too nervous to drive, we piled into my brother’s car and started to make our way towards the Georgia Lottery Office in downtown Atlanta.  It was only about a fifteen minute drive from my house, but as I held that jackpot in my hands it felt like a lifetime.

Once we reached the offices, the numbers were verified over and over again.  It was now official, I was the latest winner of the Georgia Lottery.  When the Executive Director came in to meet me, she said “congratulations, you are Georgia’s newest millionaire!”

Within the next hour, the funds were deposited into my checking account, it was done by draft so that I didn’t have to worry about carrying the check to the bank.  When the deposit was made, there was $38 in the account, needless to say that changed dramatically!

Shortly after the funds were deposited I was presented with a ceremonial big check and my family and I took questions from local media.  It was all overwhelming.

Once the formalities of the cash out was over, my family and I went to lunch.  I had barely eaten all day on Sunday and hadn’t eaten anything on Monday, so I was famished.

We went to TGIFridays for our first millionaire meal, obviously we were not accustomed to the high life yet.  When the bill came, for the first time in my life, I bought for my family, it was an awesome feeling.

After lunch we went back to my apartment and soon my family left to make the two-hour long trek home.

Once they were gone, I took a huge sigh and sat on my couch, Georgia’s newest millionaire, alone in a one bedroom apartment.

Day 12 of the Jeff Goins – 500 Word Writing Challenge…… TELL A LIE!