Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The 2015 State Rally and Run for the Son for the Christian Motorcyclists Association was recently held in Mountain View, AR. This is one of the most beautiful places in our state not to mention a great place to ride those curvy and hilly roads. Gil and I camped in our motorhome in one of the town's many lovely RV parks. It was just a short distance from the site of the rally services at the Cash Theater.

The fellowship with biker friends from all over the state was wonderful, about 225 in number, and the services were inspiring. The town's people were warm and helpful to us as well as other tourists coming in daily. Soon this little town of 2700+ will be overrun by thousands of folk there to hear music at the Ozark Folk Center and pick in and grinning on the front porches of the town's restaurants and bed and breakfasts.
Gil and I were refreshed by the getaway, the services and the fellowship. Thanks CMA for a lovely time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Destiny turns five

DJ had been telling people for a long time that she was almost five and finally the day came on August 28th. Because her Daddy had to work that day, we celebrated the 27th and Aunt Linda came over to help. We let DJ open presents first - a set of Quiz It Pen and books for learning all kinds of things, some new dresses and jeans, a small aquarium, a bird house to hang outside her bedroom window with a glass window to see the nest and eggs, and a tablet with all kinds of fun and educational games and stories! Then we had cookie-birthday cake and punch.

A few days later a box came in the mail from a sweet friend of mine. It was more birthday games and clothes for DJ plus a magical tooth fairy pillow. DJ had already lost one tooth the previous week and had several more lose.She was very excited and then disappointed to learn she had to wait to lose another tooth before she could use the tooth fairy pillow. DJ wanted to thank Miss Prissy for the lovely gifts and after I posted pictures on Facebook, Miss Prissy called to talk ......what fun!

The, the very next day another box addressed to DJ came by FederL Express. It was from Aunt Sue in Louisiana. Inside were beautiful clothes - jeans, shirts, dresses and a skirt. DJ tried them all on and gave us a fashion parade. Then we called Aunt Sue to thank her for the gifts and visit on the phone.

The excitement for now is over but Sissy will have a birthday the 30th of September so we will have another celebration then.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2014 has been a rough year

I notice that there are no blog posts for this year and that is because on December 9th my dear mother, co-author of our book, became frail after several minor procedures under anisthetic.....enough so that she had to enter a nursing and rehab center here in Camden near me. She had lost about sixty years of her memory (you will recall how excellent her memory was in 2007 when we wrote our manuscript) and required around the clock nursing care after having a blood clot in early December.

She was in physical therapy for about a month when she asked to stop the therapy because it tired her so much. It was shortly after that when we learned her blood count (hemoglobin) was very low and it became necessary that she get blood transfusions every two weeks from February through April.  In mid April we saw that the blood transfusions were no longer helping her. She went on hospice the last week of April and went to be with the Lord April 30, 2014. I was so devastated and missed her so much because I visited her every day, twice daily or more toward the end.  We had such lovely visits talking about her younger life that she continued to remember to the end. She was in such good spirits and very content at the home. She, of course, did not remember that this was the same facility where her dear mother, my sharecropping grandmother, had lived for five years before she died in 1992. Nor did she remember that it was the very same facility where Daddy lived for a year (part of 2003 and 2004) when he had Alzheimer's and before he had to be moved to a home in Arkadelphia where he died in November 2004.

My son was divorced  in the morning of the same day we lost Mama and he became sole  parental custodian of his daughters, ages 4 and 16. Naturally I had been helping with the girls since their mother deserted them in July of the previous year and now my husband  and I found ourselves helping more and more when their father worked. This was a big adjustment for us, having three more people in the house all the time, not knowing if and when they would once again have their own home.

To say the least, I was not able to set up or attend book events during all this adjustment period and time of mourning! Perhaps I can begin to do that now.I have scheduled two events this month - firstly September 20th I will attend Hunting & Fishing Day at the Tensas River Wildlife Refuge near Tallulah, LA and have a book booth for the day. Secondly, I have been invited to the Cotton Pickin Festival in Caldwell, AR, on September 26th and 27th. The mayor has asked that I take the stage for a short time to talk about the book. How exciting!

So I will post again after the book events and give a report at that time.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

July - December, 2013

The last six months of 2013 were very busy ones for Gil and me. We continue to help raise our two granddaughters Suzanne, 16, and Destiny, 4 yrs. old. Suzanne began school at Camden/Fairview High in August as a Sophomore. She loves school and makes good grades. Destiny began Head Start about the same time and enjoys going to school each day to learn and play with friends there. 

Gil attended the CMA Colors Rally in October, beginning the week prior to the rally with helping clean up Iron Mountain in preparation for the thousands of bikers who would be there camping on the grounds and attending the services, and seminars. I stayed home with the girls because their father had begun a new job as a Schwann's delivery man. He travels to several areas of the state and is on the road 3 nights a week in motels. Those days that he does make it home it is often 9 pm before he gets home. 

It has been wonderful having the girls here for the holidays and I will post pictures of the past few months. The sad part of this year was helping place my mother in a nursing home in December but it is only a couple miles from our house so I can go visit her almost every day. She came to our home for an early Christmas gathering of the family. My sister and her three daughters, as well as Aunt Sue, were able to be here for a luncheon the week prior to Christmas. It was a fun time for all.

Wishing all my relatives and friends a Happy New Year and God's blessings for 2014.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Other Events June 2013

The last week of the month Gil and I took the granddaughters to Lake DeGray near Arkadelphia for a few days of swimming and camping. This was DJ's first time to camp in the motorhome and her first time to swim in a lake. She had a floating ring with a seat and back rest that she used each day in the lake, morning and afternoon. Suzanne and she had a really good time with Grandpa every day swimming and playing in the water which was refreshing on a hot day. I went in one morning with them as well and enjoyed the cool lake waters. It really was a great get-away for us.

On the last Saturday of June Gil and Suzanne went on the motorcycle to the Purple Hull Pea Festival in Emmerson, AR, with the Charity Riders CMA chapter. This was their June fun ride. Gil said they had a good time, a very nice cool ride to Emerson and a great lunch of purple hull peas, cornbread, peach cobbler and ice tea. It was a very hot afternoon so they returned to Camden fairly early. As road captain of the Charily Riders, Gil has planned the July fun ride for a ride to Lake DeGray and a picnic at the Caddo Bend picnic/swimming area that we visited last week.     

June Book Event in Ruston, La. at the Peach Festival

It was a hot day, June 22, to be out in a canopy on the lawn of the Ruston City Hall but myself and two special author friends sat there from 8 am until 6 pm selling books. Ruthie Almond from Laneburg, AR, and Patty Wiseman from Marshall, TX, were gracious enough to join me for the Peach Festival that day. We had a lot of fun meeting the Ruston folks as well as people from the surrounding area, and as far away as south Louisiana and Monroe area as well.

I drove down the night before as did Ruthie. Patty joined us the next morning. Ruthie and I, along with the help of my Aunt Sue (with whom I spent the night) put the canopy and tables up at our assigned spot on the corner of the City Hall lawn right out front near the sidewalk Friday evening. The next morning we three authors set out our books and chairs and starting meeting people shortly after 8 am, signing and selling books. It was an awesome day for sales. We also got some really great peaches.

We pulled up stakes shortly after 6 pm and headed home. I was very glad to have the help taking down our booth and was also very glad to have my comfortable car with air conditioning for the almost 2 hour trip home to Camden. What made it very special (besides having good  friends with me) was that it was my Mama's 87th birthday. Each person who looked at the book, and each person who bought one of our books was shown her picture on the back cover and told that it was her birthday. This book was not possible without my Mama's fantastic memory and her willingness to tell all those wonderful stories about her life growing up on cotton farms as a young child, teenager and young woman. 

Grandma  Eliza and Grandpa Clarence would be so surprised to know that so many people have been interested in and read about the life you all lived back in the day. They would also be very proud. Thanks Mama for sharing. To date we have sold about 750 books and we are not finished yet. To think it all started because I wanted to write down those precious memories to share with our younger family members so they would know the family history of the sharecropping side of the Laird family. It did not really occur to me that it would be published. Now many others around this country know those stories as well AND we have met so many children and grandchildren of other sharecropping families who have shared some of their memories with us. Awesome!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Get Down for Jesus Rally

Gil is going to join other Christian motorcyclists for this annual rally with Mike Thompson near Dubach, La. They will have preaching, music and a prayer ride during the rally. I pray safety for them all and God's blessing on each attendee. Folks come from several states each year for this rally and bring their families.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mayhaw Festival, El Dorado, AR

What a fun time I had signing and selling books in El Dorado at the Mayhaw Festival on May 4, 2013. Joining me at the booth was long-time author friend Kimberly Thompson who had three of her books for sale. A new author friend Ruthie Almond joined us for the event. Ruthie signed books as well. She is from Laneburg, AR, near Prescott.

It was a rather cool day for us but we met lots of folks interested in our books. It gave us a time of fellowship to get to catch up on our lives as well as get to know Ruthie. Our booth was in front of the Newton House Museum which is a lovely restored home of the 19th century. We could hear music from the stage just behind the Newton House. It really was a very nice book event. I came home with only one book but was happy to see a new shipment from my publisher arrive the next day.