Friday, April 29, 2005


This morning, my mom came by and gave Ty a plant and said, "You can get your mama to help you plant it this afternoon - it is an eggplant". Ty said, "OH GREAT, I LOVE EGGS". The boy is not right - we live on a farm and have had chickens - I guess he thought it was something new!! I love eggs - how funny!

Knitting - how many times do you frog something before you give up? I had to meet Sally for work and she gave me some new yarn, so I thought it would be perfect to make her the Panache Stole from Creative Knitting with it. I have now frogged it (as of last night) 5 times. It really is not that hard of a pattern, I just keep doing stupid things like NOT SEEING A YO and not noticing it until too late!! A year ago I would have just left it on the needles and kept on knitting mistakes and all - I guess I am finally becoming more particular about the way the finished product looks.

Now for news from last weekend. It was one of the most awesome experiences of my life. We did not realize that it was going to be such a big deal. We got there and they took us to a VIP room with about 100 people in it. We were talking to the scholarship people and Mo whispers in my ear, "Mama, is that Rudy from Survivor?" Sure enough, it was. We went over and talked to him a while and got his take on who would win this time (he said if the other people had sense they would get rid of Tom because he is the strongest player, and the strongest never make it or he would have won!!). Anyway, then we see Ross Perot. We walked over there while Will introduced us and thanked him for the money he gave to start the scholarship.

After the VIP reception, we went into the main room. There they had tables set up with stuff from the mission. Someone had scooped up some sand from Desert One and it was in a jar. Roland Guidry was there and he had the page of legal pad paper he used that night with everyone's name on it - there were x's by the names of the guys who didn't answer roll call that night because they had been killed (and also what looked like tear drops smearing the ink). There were also men there who were in the back of the plane and saved because Will's dad did damage control and did not leave the plane so they could be saved (and losing his life in the process).

Then we had a nice dinner, the commander of the army spoke, and Keni Thomas sang with his band Cornbread. I had never heard him before, but he really was great.

They did a video tribute of the mission that had both me and Will in tears. There were pictures that we had never seen and the last ones taken of his dad - so emotional and overwhelming.

Then Travis Tritt sang a few songs and played the guitar. Did I mention our table was the closest one to the stage? It felt like a private concert. After he was finished, they took us to a separate room to take pictures with him, and of course Mo was freaking out . You have to remember we are country folks from south GA so this was beyond cool, especially for a middle school girl. (I smudged her face in the pic, but you get the idea).

Then we went back in for an afterparty and the results of the auction. This is a picture of the stained painted of the stained glass window that they made as a tribute. It turns out that 500,000 dollars was made that night for SOWF. That is so great because there are so many kids being left behind with the war. And I don't care what you think about military and war, kids suffer so much when they lose a parent that it is a noble cause to provide for their education.

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That was the second part of a great weekend. I forgot to mention that on Sat., Mo won 1st in state in Communications Challenge, 2nd in Digital Photography, and 3rd in Environmental Challenge. I am so proud.

Maybe things are finally starting to turn around for us because the last few years have really been rough. Aren't we lucky to have each other for good and bad times? I am truly a blessed woman.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Never Forget

No time to knit. We are getting ready to go here this weekend. We were kind of torn because the White House Commision on Remembrance is also doing a ceremony at Arlington. We can't go to both, so we decided to go to the one the SOWF is doing because they have done so much to help the families of those who have died. There is no way that we could have afforded for Will to finish school if it weren't for them.

The night of April 24, 1980, everything is his universe shifted. I think losing his dad in such a public and tragic way forever changed him. I know that it changed his view of the world. It nearly ruined his mom. There were so many weird things that happened afterwards that I know she went to her grave thinking the government covered alot of things up. Even though she went on with her life, she alway thought there was a possibility that he did not die that night - he was probably still dead, but things did not happen the way they said they did.

Of course, being the soul he is, he still often reminds me that if that accident had not happened he would have missed out on having me and the kids. In part of the speech the he gave when they named the post office after his dad, he said, "Most people do not get to live thier dreams, but Daddy did. He knew the danger, and he died doing what he loved". Will knows the character of the man he lost - he cried when he wrote that speech. What I know is that he is made up of the same character.

So this week is always kind of a somber one at our house. It may sound wierd for me to feel so much about it, but I love Will with everything I am, and that is the hurt in his heart that I cannot fix, so I hold it with him. This is a "big" anniversary, and the first one without having his grandparents to call and spend a little time remembering, and I have a feeling this one is going to be rough. I will never forget, nor will I let my children ever forget, that thier Grandaddy was a hero. Not just because he gave his life trying to rescue someone else, but he was also a great man for showing his son how life should be handled.

Monday, April 18, 2005

How much yarn is that????

$24,000 dollars, yes that is correct, $24,000 dollars. How much yarn would that buy? I would venture to guess enough to last me at leat until my 50's. But no - that is how much 4 days in the hospital and the extra test charges have now added up to. My sister is a doctor - I understand the cost of malpractice insurance, but give me a break. One day in ICU I was fed one bowl of tomato soup - one bowl. How could it have 4 days cost that much? Thank God for insurance, but even still, we are living on my income alone. And then I happen to watch Dr. Phil today because my blood pressure is 150/115 today and I could not function to go to work. There are people on there today worrying about debt and buying 22,000 dollar rings. Give me a break.
I understand, I really do. My mother has aways focused on social status. I grew up in a family with money, so did Will, but we decided early on that we would do everything we could to afford our life and never owe anyone anything, so we ended up being the white trash (sorry if that offends anyone) of the family. When they were all going on vacations together and giving us hell because we had no money to go, we took it. When we live in a really small house, but it is ours, and we have the understanding that we are lucky to have what we have. We have been in the place where there was no food in our pantry and a baby in the high chair, and Will was literally fishing at the pond so we would have something to eat that night. We worked hard and got through it. One of us blesses the food every night because we know the value of having basic needs such as food and clothes. We give what we can at Christmas, we put out the extra money to feed two extra kids, and our life is not easy, but we are happy and there are five people here who love each other so much. I made the decision to take a job that would make a difference in the lives of a bunch of kids instead of one that would bring more money because I know that making a difference means more than making money.

But 24.000 dollars? How are regular people supposed to deal with that? I know that stash reduction will not be an issue for a while - I have no choice but to use what I have!!!! I actually had no complaints about frogging Lu's sweater for the 2nd time this weekend.

There is an end in sight. I am so proud to know that on May 7 there is a graduation coming. I am so proud of him for deciding to do what he dreamed of - teaching kids. He is 36 and decided to fulfill his life dream and I believe he will be such a positive influence to so many kids. Come August, we will finally be a family with 2 incomes (even 2 teacher incomes are a good thing). So if you happen to read this and believe in prayer or positive thoughts think of us this week. I am trying to figure out how to make it through this one. And if you are someone thinking of going on Dr. Phil, please never complain about a 22,000 ring or making million - as he would say, get real.