Life’s Playlist….. God Bless America performed by Celine Dion

With all that is going on in our country today, the September 11th Anniversary has almost been overlooked.

On that morning sixteen years ago, America was attacked and our lives have never been the same.

Thousands died and millions saw their way of life turned upside down.

On this September 11th, we remember.  We remember the lives lost and changed, we will NEVER forget.

Today’s solemn anniversary also finds millions of our American family suffering as the result of hurricanes, flooding and wildfires.  We stand united on this and every September 11th.

God Bless Us All and God Bless America.

 

 

 

Life’s Playlist….. American Trilogy performed by Elvis Presley

This patriotic anthem has nothing to do with Labor Day, I just love it and when I hear Elvis sing it makes me feel close to Gracie Hudson, one of the most important women in my life.

I have been thinking a lot about Gracie lately, I miss her, but I know she and my mama are sitting on the banks of a pond in heaven, cane pole in hand, catfish biting and laughs galore.

Gracie was a powerhouse and I loved her deeply, in my childhood she was my Rochelle mama and she loved Elvis like no one else!

I remember watching this very concert in the Hudson’s little house in Rochelle, far too many of us crowded into the living room over Thanksgiving weekend with Gracie squealing to each note out of Elvis mouth.

It’s not Labor Day, but special memories, something I hope you will create on this Labor Day 2017.

Thanks to all the men and women who keep America running…. the workforce of our great country!  Happy Labor Day!

Life’s Playlist….. Conga by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine

A number of great creatives were born on this date, superstars in all genres of entertainment.

I often think when I look at the birthday list of my Facebook page each day that there is a cosmic connection between people who celebrate birthdays on the same day as in my life I find that many of my friends and relatives who have this common connection have similar traits and personalities.

I’m sure there has never been a study done that would validate this, but I encourage you to think about the people on your birthday list each day and see if this is the case for you.

Today, September 1 was a date blessed by many creative stand outs, check it out…..

1931 – “Boxcar” Willie

1933 – Conway Twitty

1939 – Lily Tomlin

1946 – Barry Gibb

1947 – Al Green

1957 – Gloria Estefan

1959 – Kenny Mayne

1996 – Zendaya

An interesting group of people who have influenced our lives.  A cosmic connection?  Just something to to think about.

 

Travel Buddy

My mother had one sister, Beck.

My Aunt Beck was always a part of my life, we would visit her and her family in Florida for vacations, they would visit us in the mountains for holidays and when she and my mother were together, the love they  shared for one another was infectious.

When I was pondering a move to South Florida, my Aunt Beck was the one who made me realize it would all be OK.

Since she was the one who moved away from the nest at a young age I valued her opinion as much as anyone else.  She told me to follow my dreams, the words of encouragement were the ones who finally made me realize I could still move away and be a vital part of my family from hundreds of miles away.

After I moved, Aunt Beck and Uncle Larry visited a couple of times to make sure I was adjusting to my new surroundings.  I was so proud to show them my life in Florida and when I bought my condo they were my first guests.

My relationship with my Aunt Beck grew even closer once I left God’s Country.  We talked on the phone a lot and after Uncle Larry passed away we became travel buddies.

Whenever I was making a trip home to God’s Country, I would pick her up in north Florida and she would come with me.

The trip to pick Aunt Beck up added an hour to my trip each way, but the memories created as we drove up the highway far outweigh any perceived inconvenience the added miles would create.

Her house was about 20 miles off the interstate, so she would have her neighbor bring her to the interchange, we would meet at McDonald’s and she would jump in the car and we were off.

From the time she got in my car we talked.

We talked about everything.

We laughed and sometimes we cried, but I learned about my family history, we talked about how life happens, we talked about dreams and we talked about what we wanted for those we loved most…….  we just talked.

And the conversation never stopped going up or down the highway towards the mountains that beckoned us both homeward.

We evacuated hurricanes together, we came for birthdays together and one year we came for Christmas together, driving those roads were all more special because Aunt Beck was with me.

When mama’s last days were imminent, I called Aunt Beck before I left West Palm Beach and she was waiting for me at the interstate when I got there.  That was our toughest trip.

She was with us when mama went home to be with the Lord and on the night mama passed, Aunt Beck sat beside her as she made her final journey home.

On the trip back to Florida, we cried more than we talked, but our time together and the wisdom she imparted also gave me peace.

When Sam, Chelsea, Zack and I decided we were going skydiving, in the Spring after mama died, she made that trip too.  She cheered us all the way to the ground.

The only thing Aunt Beck and I ever disagreed about was the route we would take home.

When Uncle Larry was alive, they always drove the back-roads and highways enjoying the sights and sounds of the small towns through Georgia.

I was having nothing to do with those back-roads.  I wanted to get on the Interstate and hit the gas getting home as quickly as possible just stopping for gas, drive-thru burgers and a quick bathroom break.

On our last trip together we took those back-roads through Georgia.  We drove through the small towns that she loved so much and saw she told me new stories about the vistas we saw, the ride was painfully long, but the conversation was magic.

When Aunt Beck passed away, a piece of my heart went with her.  My travel buddy had now gone on her final trek and I was honored to help carry her home.

I think about those conversations on the road often.  I miss her voice, I miss her laugh and I miss her wisdom, but most of all, I simply miss her.

Aunt Beck was my travel buddy, but more than that she was one of my greatest life influences, I look forward to our next journey together.

Life’s Playlist…… Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland

There has never been a time in my life when the Wizard of Oz wasn’t there.  It is the first movie I ever remember seeing.

As a child, and still today, I identified with the Scarecrow, without a brain, the scarecrow was confused and lost.  Once he got wisdom in his life he blossomed.

The story of the Wizard of Oz is timeless and knowing that we had what we need in our lives all along, it is inside us, is one of the great lessons that we can live as children or adults.

As much as I love the movie and the message, those damn flying monkeys still scare the bejesus out of me!

One of the greatest movies of all time, starring one of the greatest entertainers of all time, The Wizard of Oz premiered at the Lowe’s Capitol Theater in NYC on this date in 1939 with Judy Garland in the lead role of Dorothy.

In a world where sadness and strife often gets more notice than the good in the world, it’s nice to know there will always be a place over the rainbow.