Then there are my hobbies and the things that I love. Recently I talked this over with my significant other. Have you ever wondered how much you are influenced by your surroundings? Is it nurture or nature? We decided it may be a little of both. We both like Harley’s and cars but others in our family don’t have that same interest. I have loved both since before I could drive. I also have loved antiques most of my life. I did have an aunt that had an antique store so part of this love may be in my blood. I think the love of old things relates back to that love of antiques. I am most at ease when I am at a flea market such as Canton, Texas or a car show such as Petit Jean Mountain’s Father Day Show.
Certain times of year make me happy. I enjoy the crispness and the smell of the fall season. Fall air makes me want to put the top down on a car or jump on the back of a Harley. Holidays make me happy and sad all at the same time. Various family events some good and some tragic have happened during holiday times so those are always mixed emotions for me and my family. Through the years so many defining moments of ones lifetime seem to be remembered most during holidays. You always remember that favorite Christmas and what you got from Santa. Or the year the Easter eggs got all smashed before you got a chance to hide them. The funny holiday mishaps such as Cousin Craig dropping the Strawberry Jell-O salad and watching it explode all over the kitchen from the ceiling down. The year the yard caught on fire from the Christmas ham on the smoker and 30 of your relatives were outside in their underwear trying to put the fire out before the house went up in smoke. The simple traditions like the cutting of the Thanksgiving turkey by various relatives many long gone now. Fourth of July Bar-B-Q’s with every female relative in charge of one of the many ice cream freezers with your daddy and all the uncles and cousins lined up by the masses adding salt to the ice and taking turns turning the handle while all the kids watched in anticipation that slow steady stream of salt water oozing down the driveway into the street. Then later on when motorized ice cream makers were invented it just wasn’t the same anymore.
Ten years ago when my niece was a baby just watching her breath made me happy. I spent many hours sitting by her baby bed holding her soft, tiny hand while she went to sleep. She was a joy and still is. She is the light of my family’s life. She is a true miracle child to me and my whole family. She came during a time when our lives were about to take a horrific turn. Without her I don’t know what we would have focused on. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and my brother had passed away just a few months earlier. Our lives would never be the same. I always think of the Bible verse from Isaiah 11:6 “and a little child shall lead them.” With God’s help and this child to bless us and so much faith from hundreds of non-stop prayers from countless individuals we were eventually pulled through to where we are today in life.
Spirituality is also something that makes many happy and for most of us it is something we take for granted until something takes us by surprise. I believe that true happiness is such a part of this inner peace along with the fact of knowing where you are going when you finish on this earth. I believe without inner peace with yourself and your God you can never truly be happy. I sometimes have found myself singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children” at the oddest times in my life. It is such a simple song but it is one that has always been easy to grab a hold of when you needed it.
Jobs also play a big part in a person’s happiness and unhappiness. For years I have wondered what am I going to be when I grow up. I have had many jobs in the past 48 years. Some jobs were better than others; some were making a lot more money than others. I have figured out that it is not always the money that makes you happy but the love of what you do. My newest job as the director of the soon to open Dorcheat Historical Museum is my dream job. I get to put on the events that I love and think of fundraising activities all while promoting the importance of preserving our past. From busting potatoes at Bonanza, sewing buttons on pants, being a cocktail waitress, to selling cars for many years, my job list is long and varied. Working for the Minute Magazine selling ads and writing stories is more of a therapeutic job. Writing for me has become an outlet for emotions. Many folks for some reason have told me that they enjoy my stories and I guess I have developed a small following. In fact it is a mystery to me but I have now written for several magazines by request from the magazine editors. I don’t even know where to put a comma in a sentence. I once had someone tell me, “boy I run out of breath just reading your stories to myself.” Thank goodness for all those poor folks that have to edit me. Sometimes they don’t even catch my mistakes. So when you run across a mistake in the Minute just smile. It will make you feel better than wondering why I didn’t do it correctly. I am not a professional writer by any means. I just write what I feel and think about. If sometimes the material seems to be running out remember I only have so many memories.
Shopping! I love to shop. In fact I sometimes shop all day and never buy one thing. I can stay in Shreveport all day and not buy anything at all except maybe a Starbucks stop. But I get the urge out of my system for awhile and that is the important thing. In fact I have learned that the longer I stay in a store the less I will buy. I analyze way too much when I am in a store like T.J. Maxx. I might pick up items and in an hour or so I will decide I really didn’t need that or have the money for it. I do the same thing in Wal-Mart. If I go in and I am in a hurry I grab items I probably could live without. So my plan is to go later at night and spend a lot of time on buying nothing. It’s all about the looking. I just enjoy looking and seeing the new trends, fashions and cookware. Food on the other hand is a different story. I hate food shopping especially when I am hungry. I try to make a list for this chore.
I do like to cook as most true G.R.I.T.S. (girls raised in the south) do. I just wish I had a kitchen to do it in. What it must feel like to have a huge kitchen like you see in those kitchen make over books. All the new fancy gadgets to work with and all that counter space. I have limited plugs and NO counter space. In fact my can opener is in a closet with the door open and plugged into an outlet by the closet because I have NO counter space and NO outlets that it can go in. I bet those women are happy with their big nice kitchens. My friend Debbie just go a kitchen make over. I bet she is happy. It did take her awhile to finish the project but she has a nice kitchen! Her husband Barry is a lot like me he loves cars. Debbie likes to keep us apart because she is afraid he will add on to the garage again!
That brings me to friends. Where would you be without them? I have lifelong friends that I don’t see often but know if I need them all I have to do is call. Then I have newer but just as important friends. It reminds me of the Girls Scout song; Make new friends while keeping the old, one is silver and the other gold. Friends are an important part of your well being in life or at least they are to me. Sometimes a friend can make you smile when nobody else can.
Everyone has something that makes them happy. Songwriting for my Dad is his form of art. This is what makes him happy. For so many it is so many different things. If you don’t know what makes you happy I urge you to sit down and try to figure it out. If you don’t have a hobby or a love or passion in life, something that makes you smile just to think about it, then you need to sit down and have a talk with yourself and find something to give you that peace that we all so deserve. Until next time, “Tell your mama-n-em I said hello and ya’ll come see me real soon.”