We Remember

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We Remember

At the beginning of November this year I was performing in Tucson Arizona. While I was there Margy, my host, took me to the Day of the Dead celebration. It was an amazing experience for me. People were dressed in costumes and decorated their faces with white, black, and red makeup to look like skeletons. Others brought pictures or mementos of loved ones who have passed on. It is a celebration of remembrance for those who are no longer living on this earth. November is nearly over but when I woke up this morning this celebration was on my mind. It is my understanding that the whole idea is that so long as you speak the name of those who have passed they are never really gone.

Here at the end of the year, we celebrate the holidays. I realized this morning that this is my time of remembrance and it very likely is a time of remembrance for you too. My family celebrated our family holiday together in the middle of November; it lasts for about 3 days. As we all prepared our traditional meal, my sister and I taught our children how to make some of the regular dishes enjoyed on the table. Throughout the weekend we often said, “Do you remember how Daddy…” or “Mom used to …”. We always look at the tiny ones and take note of how much they look like someone who came before them. We remember.

I look around my home and smile as I admire furniture that once belonged to my Grandmother. There are quilts my mother made from clothing once worn by family members. My father’s hat hangs on a hook in my living room, a lamp once owned by my aunt illuminates the pages of my book, I make homemade rolls from a recipe that was created by my husband’s grandmother, we call them Grandma’s Rolls. I often hold a pen or pencil in the unique way my father did to write. My sister’s house is much the same, and she makes homemade noodles from a recipe that belonged to her mother-in-law. We remember.

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There are remembrances and a story of those who have passed everywhere. My husband and I were traveling, and at a rest station, there was a memorial with individual names of police from the area who died in the line of duty. Consider all of the war memorials that carry the individual names of those who have passed, monuments stand strong and tall to remember, auditoriums and parks are often named for those who have gone on…I could continue, but I think you get the idea. We remember.

I tell stories on stage, and at nearly every performance someone comes up to me and tells me about a chord of remembrance that was plucked. We remember.

What fond memory do you have? What story do you tell as you remember loved ones who have passed? Leave me a note, tell me about it. We remember.

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A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

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A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

There are times when I feel that pictures speak better than words. I was walking around in my yard and snapped some photos of the color that is still there. It makes me feel peaceful and seems to tell its own story.

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Something Fowl for Thanksgiving - Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

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Something Fowl for Thanksgiving - Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

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I stopped by a local shop called Backyard Birds a few days ago. When I got there, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue was there with chickens. I grew up on a farm, and we had chickens, but I’d not held one in years!! Living in the middle of Charlotte, NC means I am not around livestock much anymore.

The volunteers were walking around cleaning up the residual effects of having chickens in a public place. I chatted with them (the Waterfowl volunteers, not the chickens) for a few moments and found out that a percentage of the sales in the store that day would be donated to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue. They are an animal rescue and, even though their name does not mention it, they have rescued more than just waterfowl. It is my understanding they have an interspecies love affair between an emu and a donkey happening on their grounds right now. (I suppose anything is possible and who are we to judge?)

I am glad there are those who take care of the animals of the world and have compassion for them. I wish I had the ability of Dr. Doolittle and were able to talk to the animals and have them talk back to me. The stories they could be telling, I believe, I would find interesting.

As we are celebrating Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for those who take the time to care for the world around us. No one can do everything, but we can all do a little bit to make the world a kinder place.

Have a wonderful holiday!!

For more information on Carolina Waterfowl Rescue click here!

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Family Celebration Time

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Family Celebration Time

This has been a crazy, crazy year! Family members have been in very serious, life-threatening situations. There has been chemo, surgeries, loss of jobs, medical emergencies, car accident, emergency birth…I won’t keep on going with that, although I could.

There have been challenges, but there have also been victories. I am hanging on to that.

In a couple of days, my family will gather together for our annual Turkey Treat Holiday. We will eat too much, laugh a lot, tell stories, play games, enjoy a craft festival and celebrate the fact that we are all able to gather together once again. It is gonna be a great time!

And then the day after the gathering is over; I will come back to face another challenge. That means there will be another story to tell and another victory to celebrate!!

Hang tough everybody!!

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Celtic Storytelling

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Celtic Storytelling

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I went to Arizona this past weekend. I was hired to tell Celtic stories at the Tucson Celtic Festival. I had such a great time! I’d never been to Arizona before and my host, Margy, treated me so very well.

The festival was such fun. I told stories to a varied audience; all the way from tiny ones to those who had accumulated a life of wisdom. I shared about the importance of the storyteller in the Celtic tradition.

A storyteller would travel from town to town learning the news, gaining new stories, and sharing what was learned along the way. When a storyteller entered a community, they would knock on the door of a family requesting hospitality. It was a great honor to be selected by the storyteller. The family would host the storyteller giving them room and board. In the evenings the family would invite the entire community to come to their home to sit and listen to the storyteller as they would sit by the fire of the family and share stories and news. The storyteller was CNN, Netflix, and phone device all rolled into one. This was the oral tradition, the original social media.

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