Tag Archives: sister

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger…


It was just after the sun rose on New Year’s Adam (Adam came before Eve), that my sister and I struck out for Hosely’s Meats in the small town of New Glarus, Wisconsin, about 20 miles from the farm.

We were rug-ed up pretty good, both wearing long down coats, neck scarves, hats, and gloves.  My sister probably had on long underwear pants, but I can’t get my jeans on over mine, so I roughed it without the Cudl Duds.   (TMI, probably.)  The actual temperature was negative 3, but it dropped to negative 5 on the trip.  The “feels-like” temp was reported at negative 23.  Just sayin’.

We, or actually she, drove over the snow covered country roads, past picturesque family farms with red barns, multiple outbuildings, and the sun glared at us across the snow covered fields.  Pretty dramatic, I know, but I had the drive to compose parts of this entry in my head, and well, I sort of liked some of the turns of phrases.

We were picking up a half beef that had been processed for the family.  Do you remember that rogue steer that jumped the fence?  The one I wrote about in the last post?  It was his brother.  I sang “Hunka, Hunk ‘a Burning Love,” also in my head, to keep warm.   Never underestimate private silent thought processes.


Anyway, Hoesly’s is an amazing full service business, and I imagine there are ones like it all over the country, even in the south, but I’ve had no previous personal experience.  The place consisted of many very large buildings, and we went into the store part, where I chatted it up with a guy I presumed was Mr. Hoesly, but who knows?  Payment made, car loaded, we made a reverse trip, where we safely arrived home to unpack four cardboard boxes of hamburger, roasts, and steaks into the freezers.


Then we had a yummy breakfast of homemade hot vegetable beef (yep) soup.  Ooo.  I should have splashed some red wine into it.

There are many ways to fight the cold.


Oprah and Me…


Dear Oprah,

I saw you on The Talk the other day.  You, once again, moved me.  You talked about leaving a legacy, and how Maya taught you that you never know what that legacy is going to be.


Let me back up.  You would have loved the Picture Day at my school, back in the 80’s, when I stepped up to have my photo snapped.  As I posed, one of my first grade boys called out, “Mrs. Horton, you look just like Oprah!”  I can’t tell you how I loved that spontaneous remark.  I’ve held you in my heart as a Sister ever since.

My connection with you became stronger, and much more spiritual later, when I heard you tell on your show, about how much you wanted a role in The Color Purple.  You told about how you just finally surrendered to God, that if it be His will, you would get the role.  By the way, you mentioned on The Talk the other day, how badly you wanted that role.  God meant for me to hear of your surrender, because not too many years later, I told God, “I’m out of ideas.  God, I’m giving his to You,” and He put into process the events which changed my life, and led me to His door, literally.

For years, I have tucked into my journal, a page called “Ten Things I Know For Sure.”  You know it.  You composed it.  I have read it over so many times, I have it memorized.  One of them is about gratitude.  I am practicing it everyday.

Here are some other connections:  I live in Winston-Salem, NC.  You know that’s Maya’s town.  I subscribed to your magazine.  Okay…those are stretches, but, “Hey!”  I love road trips.  I think Gayle is great, too.  Still stretching.

So, let’s get back to the legacy…Oprah, I am so happy you impressed the women of The Talk that they have a responsibility.  We all have a responsibility.  We all say things.  I can only pray that the Holy Spirit guides me, and has guided me to say something helpful, and not hurtful.  I just pray my legacy has empowered others in a small way, the way you have empowered me. 

And we will never really know, will we?


Your Sister/Doppleganger

Being a Gramma…


I was almost 30 years-old when I became a gramma.  I became a gramma when I married.  I kinda skipped the parenthood step, and by the way, I would recommend that, though for most people it isn’t very practical.  I love babies; I just never had any of my own.  I did get to hold a bunch of babies.  I held my brother through his babyhood, from the time I was 12.  Then I held my baby sister beginning when I was 18.  And then I held the grandkids.

I have eight, and they have grown into terrific people.  I spent a lot of years babysitting for them, as their parents allowed.  We took them on vacations, had week long summer visits at my house, made gingerbread houses, took walks along the Arizona washes picking up rocks, rode horses and cared for rabbits and chickens and guinea pigs, made dream-house posters, and colored giant pictures of girls dressed in old-fashioned clothing.  They grew up and got married, and now there are nearly 23 great-grandkids, some of whom I have also been able to hold and rock and do the some of the same activities all over again.  They now live far away from me, and I mourn the missed minutes.

My sister became a gramma January 2 of this year.  She assisted at the boy’s birth, and I was able to hold that baby within the first 12 hours of his life.  Watching her as a gramma is a highlight of my summer visit to Wisconsin.  This boy is my new beau.  He is sweet, vocal, and so loved it hurts my heart.

Being a GAD (Great-aunt Deb) is a joy and privilege.  That baby skin and those prehensile toes, the soft hair and huge eyes, and the smile that wins every woman in the room are more than can be described.  I didn’t get to be a parent, but I sure hit the jackpot in the baby department.


Happy Father’s Day, Moms…


It is Father’s Day.  Dads are great, and we all love the good ones, but let’s face it.  Dads would be “Nowhere’sville” without the women that stand by their sides.  That’s the God’s truth, and you know it.

I have known some incredible moms.  I knew them when I taught their kids, and taught their other kids, and then taught even more of their kids.  I know them in my own family…my sister, the ones married to my brothers, my step-mom, and even my own mother.  There are the remarkable moms that are my granddaughters, cousins, and my niece.  My Australian and my Lake Friend and my Arizona BFF are phenomenal mothers.  I see good moms that are my neighbors, teacher/co-worker moms and church friends.  I know, because most of these moms have “mommed” me.  These moms are all over the place, and all you have to do is look up, and cast your eyes to the space in front of you to notice how devoted they are to their children, and their men, if the men are even in their lives.  And devoted to their friends.

Nothing gets done without a woman spearheading it.  Nothing turns out well without a woman nudging the project along, and that includes, especially, the kids.

So on this Father’s Day, I recognize the men who have “daddied.”  But Moms, you rock the world.


This is my niece, and her baby boy, Spencer, born January 2, 2016.  Spencer says his Mom and Dad are super-duper!