Friday, June 21, 2013

Deja` Vu All Over Again

The great New York Yankees’ baseball player and manager, Yogi Berra, is credited with saying: “It’s deja` vu all over again.”  De’ja` vu usually describes the feeling we get that we have experienced something before. 
My deja` vu experience occurred last week on June 14 in San Antonio, Texas as I watched my oldest granddaughter, Marcella Davis, graduate with highest honors from high school. Because her class was so large, the ceremony was held in a downtown sports arena.  As I watched Senior Class President Marcella receive her diploma and deliver her parting words to her fellow class members- telling them to embrace the future-it brought back a flood of memories. 

Flash back fifty-two years to a graduation ceremony on a warm June night in Webster, New York in a local sports arena– the school gymnasium. As salutatorian, my speech to our graduating class urged my classmates to move forward into the future with determination and hope. However, the one thing that is etched in my memory about that ceremony is how lousy I felt. I started out that day with chills, fever, and a miserable cold, along with an ugly fever blister on my upper lip. I pushed through to deliver my speech in spite of how bad I felt.  I would repeat that pattern many times in the years to come when I experienced one health crisis after another. 
After graduation I headed to Atlanta, Georgia to live with my sister’s family so that I could get secretarial training and a job. Marcella will attend the School of Business at Texas A&M University to earn her BS and MS so she can find her niche in the world of business.

The similarities don’t end there, when I got home already tired from an overbooked schedule and an early morning plane ride, I started feeling sick. You guessed it – I ended up with chills, fever, and a miserable infection along with an ugly fever blister on my upper lip.  However, some things do change— this time I gave in to being sick and stayed home for four days giving myself permission to recuperate. Maybe I’ve learned a few things after all.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Four Legs or Four Wheels

I am learning there is more than one way to travel through life. Why take the easy way when there is adventure around every corner? While we were in LA (Lower Alabama), our friends invited us to experience a bit of the local culture. The choices were to go horseback riding or ride through the woods on a four-wheeler ATV. My adventurous husband immediately chose to experience all the thrills and smells of a snorting horse. My more sedate lifestyle, as well as allergies to animal dander and hay, sent me running in the opposite direction to the vehicle with four wheels closer to the ground.  
While Charles was gently trotting around the horse track at a leisurely pace, I calmly mounted the passenger seat behind my friend, Erin. The next thing I knew we were flying over ruts and puddles, and dodging low hanging tree branches. I didn’t know I would be the one riding a bucking bronco on four wheels. Look closely and you can see Erin’s hair flying as we sped through the gate toward the finish line. I let go of her jacket long enough to show off for the camera.

Isn’t life like that? The things we fear usually give us the least trouble. Then, the things we don’t think about being a problem rise up and present us with a challenge. This roller coaster we call “Life” is full of many twists and turns which we call “life stressors.” I am the first to admit I am not the best person to handle stress. Research on aging tells us the ability to handle stress in a healthy manner contributes to longevity. When I am thrown a curve ball I have to constantly rely on God’s presence in my life so that I will not fret and worry about things that I can' t control.
 Good advice for all of us as we ride through life.