Top 10 Workout Songs for February 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Top 10 Workout Songs for February 2016

Fort Wayne, IN – February 1, 2016 – February’s top picks play more like summer workout mix than a winter one—thanks to a wealth of pop and dance favorites. On the pop side of things, you’ll find the latest from Taylor Swift and Jason Derulo. On the dance side, you’ll find a new solo single from LMFAO’s Redfoo and Robin Schulz’s re-working of Baby Bash’s 2003 hit “Suga Suga.”

While club music might dominate the month’s proceedings, there were a couple of notable exceptions: a crossover hit from the Zac Brown Band and a collaboration between Fall Out Boy and Demi Lovato. As ever, it doesn’t matter with which track you start your workout. It only matters that you start.

When you’re ready, here’s the full list–according to the votes logged on workout music site Run Hundred.

Redfoo – Juicy Wiggle – 128 BPM

Pitbull – Free.k (Sak Noel Remix) – 129 BPM

Disclosure& Sam Smith – Omen (Dillon Francis Remix) – 112 BPM

Taylor Swift – Out of the Woods – 92 BPM

Fall Out Boy & Demi Lovato – Irresistible – 83 BPM

Jason Derulo – Get Ugly – 110 BPM

Dzeko, Torres & Delaney Jane – L’amour Toujours (Tiesto Edit) – 130 BPM

Zac Brown Band – Beautiful Drug – 126 BPM

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – I Know What You Did Last Summer – 113 BPM

Robin Schulz & Francesco Yates – Sugar – 123 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Contact:
Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: mail@runhundred.com
###

Top 10 Workout Songs for January 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Top 10 Workout Songs for January 2016

Fort Wayne, IN – January 7, 2016 – If your New Year’s resolution involves getting (or staying) in shape, this month’s top 10 songs provide a variety of ways to help you make good on your word. Moreover, the list provides an excellent link between this year and last, as it’s evenly split between remixes of 2015 hits and new tracks for 2016.

On the remix front, you’ll find updated versions of chart favorites from Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, and The Weeknd. In the new music department, Twenty One Pilots are the only band to make the cut, Zara Larsson conjures the vibe of an early Rihanna track, and David Guetta collaborates with Sia and Fetty Wap. In with the fresh and familiar tracks, you’ll find two tunes that could fit in either category: one from Sigala (which borrows its hook from a Jackson 5 smash) and one from Diplo and Sleepy Tom (which uses elements of Jade’s 1992 hit “Don’t Walk Away).

In the same way the playlist bridges the musical past and the present, it can also serve as a bridge between the person you were in 2015 and the person you resolved to become in 2016. So, when you’re ready to for some inspiration, here’s the full list–according to the votes logged on workout music site Run Hundred.

Twenty One Pilots – Heavydirtysoul – 130 BPM

Zara Larsson – Lush Life – 99 BPM

The Chainsmokers & ROZES – Roses (The Him Remix) – 122 BPM

Diplo& Sleepy Tom – Be Right There – 126 BPM

Sigala – Easy Love – 124 BPM

Taylor Swift – Wildest Dreams (R3HAB Remix) – 130 BPM

The Weeknd – The Hills (Daniel Ennis Remix) – 126 BPM

David Guetta, Sia & Fetty Wap – Bang My Head – 108 BPM

Selena Gomez & Borgore – Same Old Love (Borgore Remix) – 110 BPM

Demi Lovato – Confident (The Alias Remix) – 130 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Contact:
Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: mail@runhundred.com
###

IMG_0572

Special Words and Goals for 2016


Dearest Readers:

The new year of 2016 is here, and here with this new year, I am somewhat behind. Behind??? Yes, definitely. As an active blogger and writer, I like to be on ‘top of things…’ ‘Ahead of the game.’ And I do not like to procrastinate. Here it is — Friday, January 8, and I am finally writing and wishing all “Happy New Year.” So sorry to be ‘behind the times.’

For this year, I have decided not to set a goal for 2016 — I am starting the year off with one seven-letter-word. BELIEVE! While I was at lunch today with two of my dearest friends locally, I shared my word, after Tammy shared her word for this year. “Simplicity,” she said. I snickered saying, “Funny, we are a lot alike. I’ve decided not to establish ‘goals’ for this year, but to fulfill 2016 with one word — “Believe…” Or perhaps, I should say — BELIEF — in myself. In my abilities to express myself and to share my stories with the world.

I have the tendency  not to believe in my writing skills or talents. I have received several writing awards for screenwriting, novel writing, non-fiction and photography awards plastered on my wall across from my desk. I was hopeful those awards would encourage me. Alas…They haven’t.

For too many years, I’ve had a story dancing inside my head. A beautiful little Pollyanna ballet dancer is eager to share this story with the world, only — every time I attempt to allow my fingers to dance across the keyboard and write more of this story, I hear words of cruelty – not dancing but pounding inside my brain, laughing at me, screaming, shouting abusive language saying “You stupid child. What makes you think you can write?”

Reluctantly, each time, I walk away from the keyboard. Sometimes to sing since music, dancing and singing are my therapies. Other times, I rush to my bedroom, closing the door, escaping to a place I know just a bit too much. I slide on the bed, curling myself into a fetal position, and there, while all alone, the demons of depression captivate me once again.

Years ago, when I thought of this story, I thought of the title first, only to realize while I might have a ‘catchy’ title, I did not have the plot, characterization and timing down. Reluctantly, I placed the title, story outline and ‘compost files’ inside my computer, inside of files, stashed inside notebooks. Those of you who are writers probably are nodding saying to yourself, ‘Oh Honey…I know just how you feel!’

My readers probably are nodding too — thinking — just what is your problem, Barbie — don’t you know you CAN write?

At times. And then, there are other times — when the monsters dance inside my head, laughing at me — almost hysterically — saying — “What makes you think YOU can write???” I’ve allowed the poisons of my mother’s words to torment me for much too long. Now, in the year of 2016, I recognize, it is time for me to stop allowing the torments of the past to continue poisoning me now.  I must toss the past away, allowing all of these mental aches and pains  to float into the air, or into the darkness of fog, or maybe into the oceans, just to wash them away for the final time in my lifetime. May they never return. I must be accountable and now, I must reach for my stars.

And so, I start this New Year fresher than the ending of 2015. One word which will teach me to bury the past and BELIEVE! I must BELIEVE. I can write this story…and this year, I will!

BELIEVE — According to Dictionary.com, Believe is:

“to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so:

Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.
verb (used with object), believed, believing.
2.

to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to.”
Yes, it is time for me to BELIEVE. To write with passion. To allow my fingers to dance across the keyboard…To open those forgotten files I found last week while searching for something else. This file contains the documents I have been searching for so I can get the story written! I was ecstatic when I found this file! BELIEVE! Not just a coincidence, but a belief!
Yes, a seven-letter-word is my word for 2016. I simply Must BELIEVE!
Josh Groban sings a song titled BELIEVE. My favorite lyrics of this song are:
“Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that’s playing
There’s no time to waste
There’s so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe.”
Perhaps this song will be my belief for this year — “You have everything you need IF You just BELIEVE!
DSC_0027

Merry Christmas, 2015


Merry Christmas, 2015 to all. It is a foggy day in Charleston today. The city is draped in a thick blanket of fog with visibility dreadful. My pups awoke early, and so the day begins.

I would like to take a moment to wish you much happiness and family fun today at Christmas.

This house will share the festivities with our four-legged loved ones — Shadow, Shakespeare, Sandy Bear, Hank and Toby. They are playing outside now, probably anticipating a bite or two of the dinner I will prepare.

I would like to wish all of you who read my posts a wonderful, safe and Happy Christmas. If you are a member of the Armed Forces, please be safe. The holidays are a time for family gatherings. With the Armed Forces away, the holidays are sad. There is an empty chair where you belong.

If you live in the South, or on the East coast, you are experiencing a Christmas without snow. A season of turning the air conditioner on while wondering — just WHERE is the snow. No doubt, if this warm weather continues, and a bright sunshine SHOULD RETURN, I will take a long walk on the beach. After all, it is the Christmas season.

From my household to your home, Merry Christmas. Please remember the reason for this special season while giving thanks you are able to enjoy the festivities this year.  Merry Christmas. Have a safe holiday season.

013

Welcome to My Pity Party


Dearest Readers:

Have you ever had a time where you could not shake your mood? No. Matter. What? I’ve had more than a few weeks like this. Tuesday, December 15, 2015, everything came to a standstill. Losing my temper, I recognized I needed to inhale. Exhale. Breathe.

On that date, I got up in a dreadful mood from so many nights without sleep. I counted the days until Christmas – only ten days away. No, this wasn’t the Christmas blues – just a time of physical exhaustion and stress triggered by the torrential storms we had in Charleston in October. Still, my home wasn’t well. The leaks from the skylights appeared to be growing with a science project of mold, mildew, and ugliness I wished to erase. I decided we should decorate our Christmas tree in the den this year, not the traditional place in the living room.

Negative thoughts ate away inside of me. My stomach was twisted in knots; at least, it felt like it. Christmas music helped a little, although I still had moments where I wanted to scream. Still,  the moodiness left a bad taste, an emotional feeling of absolute depression, clouding every thought and mood. Looking at the calendar again, I realized December 19th would soon be here, only now, I could not celebrate my dad’s birthday with him. This year he and his identical twin brother would celebrate 101 years of life. I lost my dad on July 6, 1999. He lost his identical twin brother long before I was born, or even thought about. How I wish I could reach out to him – just to wish him a Happy Birthday.

This year I could not shake my mood. I jotted down things I should be happy about, and then I added an additional listing of things I wish I could change. “No wonder I’m so depressed. The things I wish I could change are longer than the happiness list. Not a good sign. Meanwhile, the phone rang, almost constantly – a nauseating ringing of telemarketers and scam phone calls that refused to leave me alone. I’m certain you’ve probably received your share of these calls. One call said ‘unavailable,’ another was ‘unknown caller,’ and another said ‘government.’ I listened to all of them, never speaking as a robot call said ‘this is your third and final call. You owe the IRS…’ I laughed. Just what is this? We are on the Do Not Call list. Honestly, I think when you sign up again [for perhaps the 10th time] with the Do Not Call list, there must be a way these companies are getting our phone numbers, just so they can aggravate us! Another caller was a guy. He expressed the following, “Congratulations…You’ve won!”

Okay, I’ll play his little game. I listened as he shared that we were the winners of a contest we recently signed up for. “News to me,” I breathed. “We haven’t signed up for anything except the Do Not Call list!”

“F$%# you,” he said. I hung up, daring him to call back.

Without a doubt, this was one of the worst days I’ve had in a long time. “I suppose this day is my pity party day,” I shouted to the walls inside my house.

My poor husband was greeted at the door by a woman almost half out of my mind. Grief. Sadness. Tears. All of the ingredients for a pity party.

Although I tried to shake this strange mood, I could not. Defeated, I took a leisurely bath, having a soft, quiet discussion with myself, recognizing I was behaving in the same manner of my mother. ‘This has to stop.’

After the bubble bath, I approached my husband again, only, this time, I apologized for being such a monster. “It’s so unlike me to be this way,” I cried. “I’m so worried about the house. I wish I could make all of this go away.”

Phil hugged me. I kissed him and went to bed. I prayed for God to listen to me. Much to my surprise, I whispered, “God, are you there? Do you hear me? Are you testing me? I need you.”

The next morning, my mood was better, although I failed to sleep well. After two cups of coffee, the phone rang. I checked caller ID. The caller was listed. It was a phone call from a church. That’s unusual.  I answered it. The caller was a recording, mentioning scriptures from the Holy Bible. I suppose God is telling me something. I listened to the entire conversation, recognizing I’ve never had a phone call this — EVER! I  suppose God was listening to me and now He is encouraging me to get a grip. Be the person you know you can be, not the person you lived with as a child. 

A few minutes later, while praying, the phone rang again. My best friend was on the line. She was recovering from another kidney surgery. I asked how she was progressing. She was in route to work. Still weak and having a bit of pain, I listened to her while recognizing how selfish and insensitive I had been.

Why? Simple. All of the stress I’ve endured will ease when the house is finally repaired. I will be able to get myself out of this house and the stress. As for my friend, she was fighting to get well. To have healthy kidneys. She is my best friend. Every day I pray for her and for a miracle to happen in her life.

“How foolish I have been,” I said aloud after we hung up. “I can change my mood. I can do something pro-active to feed good thoughts, and I can move to get away from the stress, if only for a few hours.

My friend is fighting just to get stronger. She’s like the energizer bunny, always bouncing back.

As for me – I’ve been a fool. I have to remind myself of the old clichés I say to myself normally when depression kidnaps me.

“This too shall pass.”

“It’s when things seem worse, you mustn’t quit.”

“Life is like a box of chocolates…You never know what you’re gonna get.”

“Stupid is as stupid does.”

One of my favorite quotes is “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

Yes, I knew better. I am a strong woman. Normally, I can talk myself out of these situations. I suppose today is an eye-opener to me. A day to be thankful I am still alive. A day to breathe in and breathe out. A day to give thanks. I still have a home. I have a warm bed to sleep in, even when the four dogs take over the bed, and I have a good man to live with me and to love me, even when the devil of depression kicks in wanting me to have another pity party. Little things. These amazing little moments that help keep me focused. Little moments when my personality shines as I smile at someone. Little moments when I greet a complete stranger.

I cannot walk in the shoes of my mother, [nor do I want to] and I must promise myself that next time – when the monsters of depression torment me, I must move and force myself to get dressed, to smile and to appreciate life’s precious moments.

I must get dressed every day, and not stay in pajamas — ALL DAY LONG!

These actions are not who I am. I must remind myself that I should take care of myself. I must appreciate life, with all of its blessings and with all of the tests that can easily defeat us. I will not be defeated. Today is a new day.

Next time, I plan to take a nice long walk on the beach, to remind me I am blessed! No doubt, the beauty of the ocean, the sand between my toes, the warmth of sunshine, and the Pelicans flying along the waters will bless me with reassurance that life is to be lived, every day — even when the gloominess of a pity party attempts to ruffle my feathers.

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts About The New Weight Watchers…


My thoughts regarding “Oprah” and the changes are simply this: Those of us who are overweight have had difficulty with belief in ourselves…We have the tendency to cater to ourselves via comfort foods, sweets…temptations…etc…when we should be caring about ourselves. Instead of negative thoughts and “I’m done with Weight Watchers” posts, what we should do is say this — “We are good…We are worthy…We are strong…and together…We Can Do This!” I have the tendency for depression, and when I am depressed, nothing will stop me from eating bad things. Thru Weight Watchers, I’ve seen changes — in myself…my faith…my belief…I am strong…I’ve made loyal friends with several members at our meetings. I am blessed! Maybe I am beautiful…Maybe I truly believe in ME — now! Thank you, Weight Watchers. I believe change is good. Without change, we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we do not find success, happiness and belief in ourselves. Just my two cents worth for today! BELIEVE!!!

I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers since 2011. Four years. During my four year journey, I’ve seen changes. I am one who believes in life we ALWAYS have changes. Weight Watchers has been around for 50 years now, through many changes – everyone of these changes is for the better! I’m one of the rare people who truly believe life is all about change. Without ‘change’ we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we are not successful. So, you ask — what is the BIG DEAL with the changes at Weight Watchers.

Honestly, I cannot answer those questions. My meeting is on Thursday of every week. It is my “Weight Watchers” day. I plan my schedules around this day. No doctor’s appointments…meetings, etc. on this date. After our meeting three of us go out to lunch – to do what most great friends do together — to talk…to get to know one another…to build friendships! To support!

At the moment, people who are members of Weight Watchers are FREAKING out! On social media sites, they are asking, “what are the changes?” And — “why are they changing things?”

I suppose they want someone to tell them ahead of time about the changes. News Flash – people — Weight Watchers, their leaders and those who work for Weight Watchers are FABULOUS about keeping secrets!

No, Weight Watchers is not a secret society. They are there to help us; nevertheless, there are many changes rolling out this week. ALL of these CHANGES are to build a better Weight Watchers for all of us to succeed. They DO want US TO SUCCEED! By now, you’ve probably heard millions of complaints about the new plan…”It isn’t working…I can’t log in…” And — “Why did they change something that isn’t broken?”

Correct me IF I’m mistaken, but Weight Watchers is interested in the self-worth of a person…not only is it a corporation established to help those who are struggling to lose weight…Weight Watchers is helping us to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES!

We’ve had discussions about Belief. Self Discovery…and How We Can Break the Plateaus. Activity…Mind Over Matter…How to Cope With The Holidays and Social Events…and so on. All of these weekly discussions are building us to truly find the person we want to be. None of this is related to Oprah Winfrey. These “changes” were in the works earlier this year, not when Oprah signed on.

Speaking only for myself, Weight Watchers has changed my life for the better. Yes, I am eating healthier. I am more active – able to walk the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge…able to dance and to sing. I have found a new and better person previously locked away, deep inside my soul. In March, 2011, Jennifer Hudson was the spokesperson. I was struggling to lose more weight, and I kept telling myself — “One day, I plan to walk that bridge.” For those of you who do not know, that bridge [Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge] opened in July 2005. Just WHEN would I walk it?

In 2011, my life changed for the better, and I feel confident that the New and Improved Weight Watchers 2016 will lead the way for me to embrace the change and get going with my weight loss. After all, I have goals (secret goals) I will not share – yet. Hopefully soon, I might share a few of those goals on my site.

Today, I will go on record to say – Hello, 2016 — it is ready, and it is time for me to move on with my writing and my story, “Chattahoochee Child,” and it is time for me to get moving more with Weight Watchers. Many members are throwing their hands in the air, as if to say — “I’m done.” The question they should answer is this — as a member of Weight Watchers — online, or a weekly member who attends meetings — are you really ready to give up on yourself? Think about it. Change is good. I embrace it!

 

 

 

The Top 10 Workout Songs for December 2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Top 10 Workout Songs for December 2015

Fort Wayne, IN – December 1, 2015 – What summer is to the blockbuster movie, winter is to the blockbuster album. With record labels competing for your holiday loot, the marketplace is flooded with new releases from the biggest acts on their rosters. While this wealth of new music is great if you’re hitting the mall looking for gifts, it’s just as great if you’re hitting the gym and looking for new tracks.

In the mix below, you’ll find new singles from Top 40 regulars like Coldplay and Missy Elliott. There are also remixes of smash hits from Selena Gomez and The Weeknd. Elsewhere club favorites like Audien and Rudimental create cross-genre collaborations with Lady Antebellum and Ed Sheeran. Lastly, you can hear Megan Trainor break from her signature style with a tropical tune from The Peanuts Movie.

The strength of this month’s mix is its simplicity: big acts, catchy choruses, good vibes. The end of the year is plenty hectic on its own—without additional challenges in the workout music department. So, don’t overthink it. Just try a few tracks below, then make a few tracks through the snow.

Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.

Missy Elliott & Pharrell Williams – WTF (Where They From) – 120 BPM

Daya – Hide Away – 95 BPM

Grimes – Flesh Without Blood – 156 BPM

Coldplay – Adventure of a Lifetime – 113 BPM

Selena Gomez & A$AP Rocky – Good for You (Phantoms Remix) – 119 BPM

Audien & Lady Antebellum – Something Better – 126 BPM

Rudimental & Ed Sheeran – Lay It All on Me – 123 BPM

The Weeknd – I Can’t Feel My Face (Martin Garrix Remix) – 127 BPM

Meghan Trainor – Better When I’m Dancin’ – 128 BPM

Andy Grammer – Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah) – 120 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Contact:
Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: mail@runhundred.com
###

DSC_0013

Thanksgiving 2015


THANKSGIVING, 2015: Three Pennies From Heaven

by

Barbie Perkins-Cooper

               The morning of Thanksgiving, 2015 began like most mornings for me. Awakening at 6:45 a.m., I stumbled out of bed, my body felt exhausted, as if a 25 lb. weight clung to my legs. The Cuisinart Grind and Brew groaned while brewing the delicious hot caffeine that would get this day going. Opening the fridge, I grabbed the turkey, celery, three onions, garlic, carrots and other vegetables I needed to cut and prep for the infamous dinner. I turned the oven on, placed the turkey in the roasting pan and sat down to enjoy a fresh, hot cup of coffee.

Thanksgiving, 2015 was here. This Thanksgiving will be so special since I have company coming – family! Sitting at the kitchen table, I glanced out the window, thanking God for this special day. Today, I have family sharing this special day with us. I am so blessed. Thank you, God.

               My oldest sister Dolores, her daughter Vada, Vada’s husband Shon, their daughter Chelsea, her fiancé Cody, their baby girl, Kinsleigh, and Vada and Shon’s son, Timothy, were here. Soon everyone would awaken and come to the house for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving 2015 will be one of the most precious holidays for me in at least 16 years. Today, Dad would not sit at our table since he died on July 6, 1999. Every Thanksgiving after his death, I stared at the empty chair where he always sat while I choked back tears. Thanksgiving Day for three was not a factor for us today. I reminisced, retrieving the sound of his voice. His theatrical laughter and fun we shared as a daughter and father, and I was so thankful that during the holidays of 1997, I was able to reconnect with Dolores and her family after locating their phone number again, only to share the sad news that our father was terminally ill. The holidays of 1997 were not shared with family, nor Dad. He remained in the hospital, fighting desperately to live. Esophageal cancer was slowly causing his body to melt away. Thanksgiving Day 1997 was a faint memory as I watched my beloved father slowly melting away from me.

Today is a new day, a new day of Thanksgiving. Please God, let it be a great day. After the death of Dad, I learned to let go of the past…to move forward with life…today was no exception.

I’ve always been told that our loved ones who have passed leave us signs when they are nearby again. Tuesday afternoon while vacuuming the rugs, I discovered three shiny pennies lying on the carpet in the guest bedroom where dad slept when visiting us. That’s strange. Just where did these pennies come from? I picked them up, placed them on a table, turning the vacuum on again. Pennies from Heaven. I laughed. God is giving me another sign. Three Pennies from Heaven – one representing our father. Another representing my sister and our reconnection, and the third penny – representing me. Although I cannot see my dad, I can feel his presence. Thank you, God. A coincidence? Perhaps. I fully believe the shiny pennies were a visual sign telling me Dad is still here with me, and he was so proud that Dolores and I were close, reconnected – like family should be connected.

While preparing dinner, I remembered the shiny pennies, although I did not mention them to anyone. All of my life I have had visions – signs to guide me along my path in life. After losing my grandmother to breast cancer, the signs increased. The night I met my husband a voice told me to go to the dance. Something special will happen to you tonight. Do not miss this dance. Reluctantly, I went to the dance, meeting my husband on the dance floor. A coincidence? I think not.

While my husband was in Vietnam, I had visions, only these were nightmares. In one nightmare, I was in Vietnam, walking in the muddy fields of Vietnam during Monsoon season, struggling to get closer to my husband, only to have something grab me, pulling me back from the fields of war. I forced myself to awaken, grabbed my calendar, circling the date. I turned the lamp by the bed on, and wrote a letter to him, telling him I knew he was in danger, but I was confident God would protect him. I mailed the letter the next day. Three weeks later, I got a reply from him, telling me my dream was real, although he could not elaborate with details. I knew the Tet Offensive was ‘hot and heavy’ now in Vietnam. I suspected I was becoming a witch!

I glanced at the shiny pennies again, thanking God for giving me a sign. Dad was here, and he knew that two of the four daughters he and my mother created were embracing life and each other again. I felt confident he was proud of us. If only the remaining estranged sisters would do their best to rebuild their lives again. Several attempts were made, only to have another disappointment and verbal attacks of jealousy slammed in our faces. Although I believe in ‘forgiving those who have offended or mistreated us,’ I refused to allow them to hurt me again. There comes a time in our life where we must move forward. We must stand tall and not let others destroy what we’ve built.

               At Thanksgiving dinner time, all nine of us sat at our dining room table. No cell phones sat on the table. This was a special time for family to sit together…eating the bounties of Thanksgiving dinner…and to chat with one another…the small talk of families enjoying such cherished times and laughter while we watched little Kinsleigh make silly faces like children do while growing into adulthood. Christmas dinnerware, silverware, and dinner napkins were anxiously awaiting all of us to gobble down the traditional meal of turkey with dressing, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and more. Our plates were filled. I reached for Phil’s hand, and asked Cody, Chelsea’s future husband and the father of little Kinsleigh, to say grace. At first I thought I saw a bit of fear in his eyes since I had probably put him on the spot. He swallowed, reached for Chelsea’s hand, and said a most special prayer. Today, Thanksgiving 2015, new traditions were created. I’m certain our father is proud of us, especially on Thanksgiving. Although this tradition might not occur every Thanksgiving, I shall cherish the memories we built on this most special day. Maybe I will get those three pennies from the table and place them in a special place to remember the signs our dad shared. He is still here. Watching over us, occasionally leaving a sign as if he is saying, “Well done.”

 

 

 

9th Inf Div, Commo Platoon_Aug_2007

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


Dearest Readers:

This will probably be one of the shortest posts I’ve written lately. Not because it isn’t important – simply because I must get back to the kitchen to make certain my Tom Turkey is roasting properly.

Today is a day for the United States of America to celebrate Thanksgiving, and to give Thanks for all that we have, all that we are, and all that we WILL be today and in the future.  Today, Thanksgiving 2015, we will spend time with family and friends. This year, I am blessed to have one of my sisters and her family with us for Thanksgiving. I am so thankful we found our way back to each other while our Dad battled esophageal cancer. Sometimes, it is the little things in life that count the most. Finding my way back to my oldest sister was a blessing for me. A blessing I will never set free. I cling to these blessings while giving God the gratitude He deserves.

Today, many of you will have empty chairs at the dining room table. Empty seats where a loved one fighting for his country, our freedom and safety — those seats may not be filled, but their memory will be close to heart. I would like to say to our Military, Thank you…for your service to our country. Thank you for stepping up to volunteer during these tumultuous times. I cannot imagine what it is like to fight in a war, even though my husband fought in Vietnam. One thing I’ve learned about war is — the experience, fears, and horrors of war are not shared with us. The soldier returns home a different person. Scarred. Tormented. Fearful. And hopefully, proud.

You, our precious Military will share your turkey dinner with your comrades, not your family. I pray you will be able to speak with family today. Perhaps sending an e-mail, or doing SKYPE. From this household to yours, soldiers, troops, you are still family. I pray your Thanksgiving is blessed. May God keep you safe…and may the United States of America be safe on this day, and every day.

For me, safety for you, our precious Military, is my concern. Every day I pray you are safe, knowing we in America are proud of you, and we thank you for your service to our country. And when the day arrives that I might see some of you — wearing your uniform proudly, I will take the time to stop…to acknowledge you…to thank you with a warm hug. I’ve practiced this exercise in my life at airports, shopping malls, restaurants, etc. many times — to Welcome You HOME!

Sometimes, I tear up while speaking with these brave men and women while I remember the homecoming I gave my husband after he finally came home from Vietnam. I pray for the soldiers, hoping, wishing and praying they will receive a loving welcome home.

Happy Thanksgiving to our soldiers. May God keep you safe on this day, and every day. Thank you for your service so that American can celebrate Thanksgiving! Enjoy your turkey while knowing we in America care for you. We miss you, and we pray you will come Home soon. May God Bless!